|Name:||Margarethe von Trotta|
|Birth Day:||February 21, 1942|
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She co-directed short films and worked as an actress in films such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
In 1964, von Trotta married Jürgen Moeller and had one son, German documentary director Felix Moeller. They divorced in 1968 and von Trotta married German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff. Together, they raised Felix and worked together on film projects. von Trotta and Schlöndorff's film collaboration in Germany during the politically turbulent 1970s is documented in her son Felix Moeller's 2018 film Sympathisanten: Unser Deutscher Herbst.
Her first input on a film, before making a solo-career out of it, was on Volker Schlöndorff's The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach [de](1971), which she also acted in. In 1975, they proceeded to co-write and co-direct The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum) which was based on an adaptation of Heinrich Bölls novel that dealt with "political repression in the Federal Republic." Within this first film of von Trotta's, one can see the conflict "between the personal and the public" that resonates throughout her early film career. The female characters within the story must occupy suffocating spaces that von Trotta uses to represent the confinement that women are subjected to in a world run by men. Von Trotta was in charge of supervising the performance aspect while Schlöndorff dealt with the film's mechanics. As a director, he was not considered to be very audacious, while von Trotta's strong suit was in how she directed the film's actors "through whom she creates her story." Therefore, the two were able to complement each other. Their film was considered to be "the most successful German film of the mid-1970s." The couple collaborated on one more film, Coup de Grâce (1976), where von Trotta helped to write but not direct the work, before von Trotta branched off into her own career.
Trotta's first solo film was The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages) in 1978, which focused on "a young woman's political radicalization." This film presented multiple subjects that Trotta's films would be known for in the future: "female bonding, sisterhood, and the uses and effects of violence." The film's script used real-life information about the seizure of school teacher Margit Czenki from Munich.
Sisters, or The Balance of Happiness (1979) delves into bonds, both physically and mentally, between sisters Maria and Anna, along with a third party. The siblings are close before Anna commits suicide, but hidden behind her facial expressions is a desire to escape this feeling of frustration between following what she wants and what Maria asks of her. Maria faces post suicide trauma, coping with her devastation by transplanting the memory of her sister onto her co-worker, Miriam. This ultimately leads Maria to deal with her inner issues so she can try to move on with her life in a peaceful manner. This film garnered the Grand Prix Award at Créteil International Women's Film Festival in 1981.
A theme within Marianne and Juliane that von Trotta uses throughout her works is that of "the personal is political." In Marianne's jail cell, the sisters come to terms with "their personal and political differences." One take on this theme is that Marianne's personal past has fostered her political, terrorist present. In the story's present day, her political actions effect her personal life: she is sentenced to prison and passes away in her cell, her husband takes his own life, and her son is put in danger. Not surprisingly, this film was the subject of much debate from conservatives who believed that Marianne's character as a terrorist was given too much understanding. This film won the AGIS Award, FIPRESCI Prize, Golden Lion Award, New Cinema Award, and OCIC Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1981, along with a few more listed in the awards section. Von Trotta winning the Golden Lion was a true achievement for women in film, for an honor of this stature had not been awarded to a female director since Leni Reifenstahl received "the Mussonlini Cup" in 1938 for Olympia. In 1994 Ingmar Bergman listed it as one of his favorite 11 films of all time.
Sheer Madness (Heller Wahn, 1983), one of von Trotta's popular feature films, also uses suicide as an important part of the storyline. An analysis on the film given by authors Susan Linville and Kent Casper reads: "suicidal states of mind may stem not from negative distortions of external reality, but from an accurate assessment of the way things are." Within this story, once again, women's feelings are investigated through the friendship between two females, Ruth and Olga. This film gave the impression that, supposedly, von Trotta was a "man-hater." Von Trotta won the OCIC Award-Honorable Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Forum of New Cinema for Sheer Madness in 1983. This film was also nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in the same year.
Von Trotta's 1986 eponymous film about the feminist and marxist socialist Rosa Luxemburg examines both her "life as a public revolutionary and her private experience as a woman." Barbara Sukowa, who stars in several of von Trotta's films, won the Best Actress honors at Cannes in 1986 for her delivery of the main role. Through her cinematic vision, von Trotta returns to the theme of "the political and the personal," giving fair attention to both Rosa Luxemburg's personal life as a female in society and her political life as a "public revolutionary." Rosa Luxemburg was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival in 1986. This film won the Guild Film Award-Gold at the Guild of German Art House Cinemas in German Film in 1987.
Love and Fear or Paura e amore (in Italy), also known as Trois Soeurs (in France) or Three Sisters (1988) — von Trotta's sixth feature-length film — focuses on a set of three sisters: Olga, Masha, and Irina. It is through these females that von Trotta is able to present her opinions concerning the stature of females in society and the traditional politics of the time that play a role in shaping their lives. Once again, this film deals with sisters who yearn for significance in all aspects of their lives (Rueschmann, 168). Their constant quest for love is the way they cope with the unfavorable aspects of life. Compared to the other two preceding films in the "sister series", Love and Fear contains key melodramatic elements that focus on one's feelings and anguish. It does not address politics as heavily as the other films, but more on von Trotta's take of the distinction between men and women in society. This film was nominated for the Palme d'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988.
In 2001 she was the President of the Jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival.
Currently, Margarethe von Trotta is 79 years, 7 months and 1 days old. Margarethe von Trotta will celebrate 80th birthday on a Monday 21st of February 2022.
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