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CLARA (GELIEBTE CLARA)

CLARA
CLARA (photo © Integral Film)

In 1850, Robert, his wife Clara and their five children settle down in Duesseldorf where he has accepted a position as musical director. For the resourceful musician, who is considered more as one of the world’s greatest composers than a conductor, it turns out to be a bad decision. Nor is it a happy period for Clara, who is reduced to the role of a housewife instead of an acclaimed concert pianist performing throughout Europe to sold-out halls. That is, until she meets the young, brilliant Johannes Brahms. Clara and Johannes fall for one another. Robert, who is sick and suffering from severe depression, attempts to drown himself in the Rhine River. His life is saved and he commits himself to a sanatorium. The relationship between Brahms, who cares for the family financially, and Clara grows even more intense. When Robert dies two years later, all the obstacles seem to have disappeared for them. Clara, however, refuses to marry again. Robert’s shadow still weighs too heavy on her. But she will go on playing his and Johannes’ music in the world’s concert halls, expressing her feelings for him and for the moments of darkness they both experienced with Robert.


Helma Sanders-Brahms was born in Emden in 1940. She attended the drama school for music and theater in Hanover, and studied German and English Languages in Cologne. She worked as a television announcer for WDR and from 1976-1969 became a guest student with both Pier Paolo Pasolini and Sergio Corbucci. Under the Pavement Lies the Beach became her breakthrough in 1975. Heinrich (1976), her film on the life and death of the German poet Heinrich von Kleist, was awarded the German Film Award in 1977. Her film Germany, Pale Mother (1980) remains an international success today and is one of the classics of German cinema. Her other films include: Shirin\'s Wedding (1975), No Mercy No Future (1981), The Future of Emily (1984), Laputa (1986), Manouevres (1989), Apple Trees (1991), My Heart is Mine Alone (1997), Colour of Soul (2003), and Clara (2008).
Genre Drama, Biopic
Category Feature
Year of Production 2008
Director Helma Sanders-Brahms
Screenplay Helma Sanders-Brahms
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Isabelle Devinck
Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms
Uwe Szielasko
Cast Malik Zidi, Pascal Greggory, Martina Gedeck
Producers Alfred Hürmer, Helma Sanders-Brahms
Production Companies Integral Film/Berg, Helma Sanders-Brahms Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Mact Productions/Paris, Objektiv Film Studio /Budapest, B.A. Produktion/Munich
Length 109 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Mannheim-Heidelberg 2008, Créteil 2009, Shanghai 2009, Moscow 2009, Sao Paulo 2010
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM, Eurimages
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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