Helma Sanders-Brahms

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Key figure of the New German Cinema and, alongside Margarethe Von Trotta, the only woman of the group to achieve international recognition. Unlike most other New German directors, Sanders-Brahms has remained a radical ... Read more »
Born: 11/19/1940 in Germany

Filmography

other (32)

Clara 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Clara 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Mein Herz--Niemandem! 1996 (Movie)

(Editor)

Mein Herz--Niemandem! 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mein Herz--Niemandem! 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Lumiere Et Compagnie 1995 (Movie)

Featured Director (Director)

The Night of the Film-Makers 1994 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

To Live Now - Jews in Berlin 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

To Live Now - Jews in Berlin 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Apfelbaume 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Apfelbaume 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Felix 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Felix 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Geteilte Liebe 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Geteilte Liebe 1988 (Movie)

(Producer)

Geteilte Liebe 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Flugel und Felleln 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Laputa 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Laputa 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Der Subjektive Faktor 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

Die Beruhrte 1980 (Movie)

(Makeup)

Die Beruhrte 1980 (Movie)

(Costumes)

Die Beruhrte 1980 (Movie)

(Producer)

Die Beruhrte 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Die Beruhrte 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Germany, Pale Mother 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Germany, Pale Mother 1978 (Movie)

(Producer)

Germany, Pale Mother 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Heinrich 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Heinrich 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Unterm Pflaster ist der Strand 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Unterm Pflaster ist der Strand 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

Key figure of the New German Cinema and, alongside Margarethe Von Trotta, the only woman of the group to achieve international recognition. Unlike most other New German directors, Sanders-Brahms has remained a radical in terms of both her content (Marxist- and feminist-inspired canvases on life, politics and love) and form (use of alienation techniques, symbolism, interweaving of past/present and dream/reality).

Sanders-Brahms (she is related to the famed composer on her mother's side) began her career as a TV announcer and turned to directing several years later. Through the 1970s she turned out a series of prize-winning documentaries and features dealing invariably with such contemporary German ills as capitalist exploitation and machine-driven alienation. A highlight of this period is "Shirin's Wedding" (1976), which deals both with the "guest worker" question (a preoccupation for the New German Cinema) and the place of women within that schema.

In 1980 Sanders-Brahms made "Germany, Pale Mother", the film for which she remains best known. Freely based on recollections of life with her mother in war-torn and post-war Germany, the film was coolly received in her native land but earned substantial international acclaim; it features a riveting performance by Eva Mattes and masterful black-and-white photography by Jurgen Jurges.

EDUCATION

attended acting school in Hanover from 1960-62

Cologne University

graduated after four years

Cologne University

graduated after four years

Milestones

1982

Retrospective of film work at National Film Theatre, London

1970

Feature writing and directing debut, "Gewalt/Violence"

1969

Short film directing debut, "Angelika Urban, Verkauferin, verlbot/Angelika Urban, Salesgirl, Engaged" (30 mins; black-and-white documentary)

1968

Went to Italy for WDR to interview directors such as Pasolini, Zeffirelli and Rosi; Pasolini struck her "like a thunderbolt" by saying that she would "make films"

Made first film, an interview with terrorist Ulrike Meinhof (of Baader-Meinhof group) for TV; still extant but rarely seen

After graduating from college, worked for one year as school teacher, then entered media industry

First media job as TV announcer for WDR-3, Cologne; job included introducing classic and contemporary films (Soviet silent cinema, Brazilian Cinema Novo)

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