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MARIANNE AND JULIANE (BLEIERNE ZEIT, DIE)

MARIANNE AND JULIANE
Scene from MARIANNE AND JULIANE (photo © Bioskop Film, courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

Two women in Germany, two sisters, both were born during the war and grew up during the "leaden times" of the 1950s. Marianne and Juliane fight for social change during the 60s, however their means are totally different. While Juliane makes her way as a committed journalist, Marianne joins the political underground. After Marianne is arrested and put into jail, Juliane remains her only connection to the outside world. During a holiday in Italy, Juliane learns of Marianne's sudden death. The "official" cause of death: suicide. However, Juliane is convinced that her sister did not kill herself. Risking losing her material security and her relationship to her boyfriend, Juliane throws herself into isolation to uncover the true circumstances of her sister's death.


Margarethe von Trotta ranks among the most important female directors in German cinema since the 1970s, during which time she also made a name for herself as an actress. Today primarily active as a screenwriter and director, her most well-known films include: THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM (DIE VERLORENE EHRE DER KATHARINA BLUM, 1975, in co-direction with Volker Schlöndorff), THE SECOND AWAKENING OF CHRISTA KLAGES (DAS ZWEITE ERWACHEN DER CHRISTA KLAGES, 1977), SISTERS OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS (SCHWESTERN ODER DIE BALANCE DES GLÜCKS, 1979), MARIANNE AND JULIANE (DIE BLEIERNE ZEIT, 1981), SHEER MADNESS (HELLER WAHN, 1983), ROSA LUXEMBURG (1985), THE AFRICAN WOMAN (DIE RÜCKKEHR, 1990), THE LONG SILENCE (IL LUNGO SILENZIO, 1993), THE PROMISE (DAS VERSPRECHEN, 1994), ROSENSTRASSE (2003), I AM THE OTHER WOMAN (ICH BIN DIE ANDERE, 2006), VISION (2009), HANNAH ARENDT (2012), FORGET ABOUT NICK (2017), and her first documentary SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN (2018), among others.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1981
Director Margarethe von Trotta
Screenplay Margarethe von Trotta
Cinematography Franz Rath
Dagmar Hirtz
Georg von Kieseritzky
Cast Franz Rudnik, Luc Bondy, Vérénice Rudolph, Doris Schade, Rüdiger Vogler, Barbara Sukowa, Jutta Lampe, Julia Biedermann
Producer Eberhard Junkersdorf
Production Companies Bioskop Film/Munich, SFB/Berlin
Length 107 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions English
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, Italian
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Venice 1981, Chicago 1981, Valladolid 1981, Kiev 2005 (Retrospective), Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Reykjavik 2015, Ankara 2018, Taipei Golden Horse 2018
Awards FIPRESCI Award, OCIC Award, & Golden Lion Venice 1981, Golden Hugo Chicago 1981, Critics' Award Valladolid 1981, 2 German Film Awards 1982, Academy of Art Berlin Critics' Award 1982, Donatello Award 1982
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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