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Portrait of a Married Couple (Erste Ehe)

Portrait of a Married Couple
Maria Simon (photo © I. Stever/dffb)

Dorit and Alex are having their wedding party. Their impassioned, destructive relationship progresses through various stages from evening until daybreak. The party pushes the potential for argument to its natural climax. This is a story of an impossible love in which two people torture themselves and others to prove that they are alive.

Portrait of a Married Couple compresses the story of a longer relationship into one night. This compression exaggerates the characters; there are no breaks or compromises. The characters are of today, but the relationship described is timeless.


Isabelle Stever was born in 1963 in Munich. After studying Mathematics in Berlin and New York, she studied Directing at the German Academy of Film & Television (dffb) in Berlin. Her films include: the award-winning features PORTRAIT OF A MARRIED COUPLE (2002), GISELA (2005), BLESSED EVENTS (2010), an episode of the omnibus film GERMANY ‘09 (2009), and THE WEATHER INSIDE (2015).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Isabelle Stever
Screenplay Isabelle Stever
Cinematography Rali Raltschev
Frank Brummundt, Isabelle Stever, Vessela Martschewski
Marcus Fritzsch, Martin Dean
Felicity Good
Cast Maria Simon, Nils Nellessen, Marc Richter, Silvina Buchbauer, Martin Rheinhardt, Marina Weiss-Burgazlieva, Martin Dean
Producers Jens Koerner, Christian Hohoff
Production Company Filmkombinat/Leipzig, in co-production with Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB), ZDF
Length 92 min
Format DigiBeta PAL
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Munich 2002, Oldenburg 2002, b.film Berlin 2002, Ophuels Festival Saarbruecken 2003, Poitiers 2003, Ankara 2003
Awards First Steps Award 2002, Best Leading Actress Saarbruecken 2003
German Distributor Movienet Film/Munich

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