24 March 2006 | Guy33134
Good take by "Von Trotta" on two different feminine worlds
Director Margarethe Von Trotta is one of the most feminine issue-oriented film makers Europe has produced in the last 30 years. She has explored many facets of the German and Italian female universe in particular. In this film, she shows the catharsis experienced by two different women from two distinct worlds as a result of their unlikely friendship.
This 1982 film, which I recently saw at a Von Trotta Retrospective, now has a crispy clear image which makes it look fresher than recent films. Since the subject matter is not date sensitive, one would think the film is brand new. However, if you know the two main actresses (two of Germany's greatest in the 70s and 80s), you'll know it's not as recent as it looks.
The two actresses in the two main roles are Hanna Schygulla (also a Fassbinder muse) and Angela Winkler, who was Von Trotta's "Katharina Blum" some seven years before this performance. Winkler gives the stronger performance as Ruth, a mentally challenged artist with potential reactions like her "Katharina Blum" character.
Schygulla is the apparently more centered Olga. She will help Ruth, and have a hand in Ruth's transformation, but she will also be affected by Ruth. Strong performances from both actresses, well directed by Von Trotta, make this film unusual in the realm of cinematic claustrophobic character studies. Another must-see for Von Trotta fans.