Berlinale: Programme

Film File



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Hannah lives with her husband, architect Martin, in West Berlin. Her mother, Malou, who died more than 10 years ago, was a Frenchwoman who converted to Judaism to marry her German husband. After 1933, the couple were forced to emigrate, so Hannah was born in Buenos Aires. Back in Germany, where she teaches immigrants, she is considered a “foreigner” and she feels alien and misunderstood. Tracing Malou’s life, Hannah searches for her own identity as she struggles with her relationship with Martin … In her first feature, director Jeanine Meerapfel, who was born in Buenos Aires to German Jewish parents, deals with her own history, elegantly weaving together the present and the past. In muted sepia tones, she depicts the path of the eccentric nightclub singer Malou into an unhappy marriage and a descent into alcohol. She draws a clear-eyed contrast between that melodrama and Hannah’s determination to throw off the mantle of feminine immaturity. While her mother cuddles languorously against her husband’s broad chest in a luxury convertible, the daughter takes to the wheel of her own Peugeot convertible to follow a self-determined path.

Jeanine Meerapfel

Federal Republic of Germany 1981


94’ · Colour · 2K DCP

Digitally restored version 2019

Rating R12


Ingrid Caven
Helmut Griem
Grischa Huber
Ivan Desny
Peter Chatel
Marie Colbin
Margarita Calahorra
Lo van Hensbergen
Dietrich Mattausch
Antonio Skármeta


Jeanine Meerapfel
Jeanine Meerapfel, Grischa Huber, Michael Juncker
Director of Photography
Michael Ballhaus
Dagmar Hirtz
Peer Raben
Gunther Kortwich
Art Director
Rainer Schaper
Anna Spaghetti
Regina Ziegler

DCP: Ziegler Film, Berlin