Berlinale: Programme

Film file



David Mackenzie (Director)
Natasha Richardson (Actress)
Sir Ian McKellen (Actor)
Marton Csokas (Actress)
Hugh Bonneville (Actress)
Patrick Marber (Author)
Patrick McGrath (Actor)
Mace Neufeld (Producer)

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Stella is married to an up and coming young psychiatrist. It is the late 1950s and the couple have recently moved to the grounds of the asylum where Max has taken on the position of deputy head. Although the post is only supposed to be a temporary job, Max nevertheless arranges for the garden and the greenhouse to be put back into shape. The work is carried out by patients who, on account of the progress their mental health is making, are allowed to enjoy certain privileges.
A sculptor named Edgar Stark is one such patient. Edgar was committed to the asylum years ago for having killed his wife in a jealous rage – after completing a bust of her head.
And then, the unthinkable occurs: Stella, who, as the wife of a psychiatrist ought to know better, falls in love with this patient. Not only is their love against all the rules, it is also extremely dangerous – after all, Edgar’s psychopathic jealously has made him kill in the past.
Edgar manages to escape from the asylum and, at first, it looks as though their affair has come to an end. But this is far from the case and, as soon as she hears from Edgar, Stella leaves her husband and child in order to spend her life with him. But then the day arrives when Edgar plans to make a bust of Stella’s head… (Adapted from: “Leselust”, Berlin)

USA / Ireland 2004, 93 min


David MacKenzie


Natasha Richardson
Ian McKellen
Marton Csokas
Hugh Bonneville