Family & Companions
Perhaps the best known female director to emerge from the New German Cinema, Von Trotta began her career as a stage actress and, in the late 1960s, appeared in films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlondorff (she married the latter in 1971). She then co-scripted (and narrated) Schlondorff's "The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach" (1971), turned in a precise, riveting performance in the lead role of "Coup de Grace" (1974) and co-directed "The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum" (1975) with her husband. Von Trotta made an impressive solo directing debut with "The Re-awakening of Christa Klages" (1977). The film introduces many of the themes that recur in her later work: the complexities of female bonding; the dimensions and dilemmas of liberalism; and the uses and effects of violence.
"Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness" (1979) is an intricate examination of the relationship between a destructive, confused Hamburg secretary and her two "sisters"--one by birth and one whom she "adopts"; "Marianne and Julianne/The German Sisters" (1981) is a compelling study of terrorism, viewed via the relationship between a Baader Meinhof activist and her journalist sister (the two are based on the real-life characters, Gudrun and Christiane Ensslin). "Rosa Luxemburg" is an accomplished, multi-leveled biography of the early 20th-century radical.
Von Trotta's "The Promise" (1995) was an episodic drama about a pair of lovers separated and reunited against major events in European history (the erection of the Berlin Wall, the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia). While it was a departure for the director, most critics felt it was a qualified success.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
First film acting role in "Schrage Vogel"
First film as co-director, "Die verlorene Ehre der Katherina Blum/The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum"