Margarethe Von Trotta
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.