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 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) 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.
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. One of her most recent films, the biographical drama Hannah Arendt (2012), garnered critical acclaim and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the Women+Film Voices Film Festival.