Film Info: Ich will da sein - Jenny Groellmann

Ballad of Jenny G., The (Ich will da sein - Jenny Groellmann)

Ballad of Jenny G., The
Jenny Groellmann (photo © Michael Weidt)

The story of a woman in love with the stage and screen, art and life... of a non-conformist coping in the two Germanies spanning division and reunification.

Jenny Groellmann (1947-2006) was one of the great character actors of the GDR whose presence on stage and the strength of the characters she played would have carried her effortlessly, under other circumstances, into the annals of world cinema. She was an exceptional actress who rose to the heights of her art, sank to oblivion with the end of an era, was publicly defamed and ultimately vindicated.

The Ballad of Jenny G. is an insightful portrait of a strong, fascinating woman and consummate artist in extraordinary times. Clips from Groellmann’s stellar career on screen are intercut with intimate and revealing scenes of her later life and with the words of her friends and colleagues.

Her life and her performances in film mesh to produce a compelling document, combining the public and the private; interweaving the singular history of East German cinema and that of the two Germanies with a searching portrayal of the late Jenny Groellmann and her art.


Petra Weisenburger was born in 1958 in Karlsruhe. She studied Art History, Literature and Sociology in Paris and Heidelberg. She held various creative positions in film and theater productions and realized several video films for the Joachim Schloemer Dance Theater. Since 1995 she has been a project manager and head of studies at the Nipkow Programm in Berlin, a grant program for European filmmakers, and in 2005 she founded her own production company. Her films as an author and co-director include the award-winning Jean Weidt – Le Danseur Rouge (1988), Homage to Free Dance in Germany - Part I: The Silent Scream and Part II: Lone Fighters (1991). She worked as co-producer on Memories of Happiness (1990) and wrote, produced and directed the short documentary Shepherd\'s Big Moment (Schaefers Stunde, 2005). The Ballad of Jenny G. (Ich will da sein, Jenny Groellmann, 2008) is her first documentary feature.
Genre Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Director Petra Weisenburger
Screenplay Petra Weisenburger
Cinematography Thomas Mauch, Martin Gressmann, Wojciech Szepel, Max Zaher
Klaus-Peter Schmitt
Cast Jenny Groellmann, Hermann Beyer, Thomas Goguel, Michael Gwisdek, Henry Hübchen, Bert Huelpuesch, Felix Huelpuesch, Uwe Kockisch, Anna Maria Mühe, Ernst Noennecke, Claus-Juergen Pfeiffer, Peter Pragal, Christiane Preusse-Huelpuesch, Jaecki Schwarz, Michael Weidt
Producer Petra Weisenburger
Production Company Weisenburger Film/Berlin, in co-production with DEFA Foundation/Berlin
Length 95 min
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Sofia 2008
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Kulturelle Filmfoerderung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, DEFA Foundation
German Distributor defa-spektrum/Berlin

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