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Malina

I have lived in Ivan and die in Malina. This exceptional story with three people involved is about a woman who lives in Vienna with a man of the name of Malina. She meets Ivan and falls in love with him. This was to be her last great passion. She is so strong in the exclusiveness of her love that it can neither be understood nor reciprocated.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ingeborg Bachmann

The central figure of this unusual triangle is a well-known but nameless novelist. In an interview with a journalist, she claims to "write about the nature of fire with my burnt hand". He does not understand her. No-one seems to understand what she means, not even her partner Malina and certainly not her lover Ivan.

Malina and the woman live in the man's home like a married couple, but their love seems very platonic. When the woman meets the Hungarian Ivan, she falls passionately in love with him. However, Ivan begins to draw back from the unconditionality of her claims. Malina ignores this passion. The woman suffers nightmares; above all, her relationship with her father repeatedly appears in horror visions. She flees briefly, from Vienna to the region around Salzburg, but in vain. Malina tries to remain reasonable and to keep a cool, analytical head.

The woman's final crisis begins when she discovers that Ivan has a new a new affair. She becomes entangled in visions of death and her world literally goes up in flames. Neither Malina nor Ivan is aware of this fire. The woman simply disappears between the walls of the flat. Malina removes the last traces of her and we hear her voice, off-stage: "That was murder!"


Werner Schroeter (1945-2010) made his first films on 8 mm in 1967/1968. He also worked in the theater and staged his first opera (Lohengrin) in Kassel in 1979. He made his first feature-length film Eika Katappa in 1969 and followed it with, among others, The Death of Maria Malibran (Der Tod der Maria Malibran, 1971), Golden Flakes (Goldflocken, 1976), Kingdom of Naples (Neapolitanische Geschwister, 1978), Palermo or Wolfsburg (Palermo oder Wolfsburg, 1980), Day of Idiots (Der Tag der Idioten, 1981), The Rose King (Der Rosenkoenig, 1985), Malina (1990), Love\'s Debris (Abfallprodukte der Liebe, 1996), Die Koenigin - Marianne Hoppe (2000), and Two (Deux, 2002).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1990
Director Werner Schroeter
Screenplay Elfriede Jelinek
Cinematography Elfi Mikesch
Juliane Lorenz
Cast Can Togay, Fritz Schediwy, Isabelle Huppert, Isolde Barth, Libgart Schwarz, Matthieu Carrière, Peter Kern
Production Companies Kuchenreuther Film/Munich, Neue Studio Film/Vienna, in cooperation with ZDF, ORF/Vienna
Length 125 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French, Spanish
Awards German Film Award 1991