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Longing, The (Verlangen, Das)

Longing, The
Susanne-Marie Wrage

The Longing tells the story of Lena, a minister’s wife delivered from the bleak prison of her marriage through her forbidden and quietly burgeoning love for Paul.

Set in a dreary village in the Swabian-Franconian forest, the seemingly reserved Lena lives with her tyrant of a husband, Johannes in a loveless marriage. Johannes is the village’s spiritual leader and Lena is his faithful, ever-willing-to-serve wife. Lena’s daily life is characterized by grinding monotony, a life narrowly circumscribed by nursing, organ playing and the duties of the marriage bed.

The mysterious murder of a village girl suddenly knocks this humdrum existence off its tracks. In the wake of these events, Lena discovers the affection and tenderness for which she has always longed in Paul, the village mechanic. This encounter is the start of an emancipation that leads her not to reveal Paul’s secret regarding the girl’s murder, for fear of losing her newly won piece of happiness. In turn it means she has to remain silent, as she has always done in her many years of marriage.

This love ultimately turns Lena herself into a fallen angel.


Iain Dilthey was born in 1971 in Scotland. From 1992-1997, he studied Chemistry and Pharmaceutics in Marburg and Mainz, followed by work as a scriptwriter and director\'s and production assistant on various television programs, reports and short films. From 1997-2002, he studied Directing at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg. His films include: Es war einmal ein Kind (1995), Gegen die Stille (1996), Bergpredigt (1998), Joseph 98 (1998), Partisanen! (1999), Sommer auf Horlachen (1999), I\'ll Wait on You Hand and Foot (Ich werde Dich auf Haende Tragen, 2000), The Longing (Das Verlangen, 2002) winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and Prisoners (Gefangene, 2006).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Iain Dilthey
Screenplay Iain Dilthey, Silke Parzich
Cinematography Justus Pankau
Barbara Hoffmann, Claudia Gladziejewski, Saskia von Sanden
Johannes Kobilke
Eva Maria Stiebler
Cast Susanne-Marie Wrage, Klaus Gruenberg, Robert Loehr, Manfred Kranich, Heidemarie Rohweder, Wolfgang Packhäuser, Peter Lerchbaumer, Eva Löbau, Sigrid Skoetz
Producer Till Schmerbeck
Production Company Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, in co-production with TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion/Cologne, Samples + Frames, Berlin, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SWR/Stuttgart
Length 90 min
Format Super 16
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Munich 2002, Locarno 2002 (in competition), Montreal 2002, Ghent 2002, Pusan 2002, Budapest 2002, Sao Paulo 2002, Gijon 2002, Bratislava 2002, Gothenburg 2003, Belgrade 2003, Buenos Aires 2003, Moscow 2003, Cairo 2003, Kolkata 2003
Awards Script Prize Baden-Wuerttemberg 2002, Golden Leopard Locarno 2002

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