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Mask of Desire, The (Braut, Die)

Mask of Desire, The
Scene from "Mask of Desire" (photo courtesy of Progress Film)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had lived together with Christiane Vulpius for twenty-eight years, eighteen of these living in sin, ten as a married couple. The Mask of Desire looks at the greatest German writer through Christiane's eyes. As a former favorite of the poet, Charlotte von Stein forces herself between the two lovers. The rival constantly makes life difficult for Christiane. Someone other than the strong Christiane would have probably collapsed in the face of the unreasonable demands which her lover Goethe also asks her to accept: if an important visitor comes, she and their son have to disappear into the servants' quarters; on official occasions, she stays at home. But Goethe finally marries her when she saves his life during an attack by plundering Napoleonic soldiers. Now, she is allowed to accompany him to all festivities. At the same time, she is openly attacked by snooty, jealous people and Goethe is only half-hearted in coming to her defence. But she stays with him - for he is her great love - even when she grows old and he is not so strict about resisting the charms of youthful admirers...

Egon Guenther was born in Schneeberg in 1927. After the war, he studied Pedagogy, German and Philosophy at the University of Leipzig and worked as a dramaturg and screenwriter at the DEFA Studios from 1958 to 1964 and moved to West Germany in 1978 after his second film Ursula found little favor with the East German regime. His other films include: Wenn du gross bist, lieber Adam (1965), Abschied (1967), Die Schluessel (TV, 1972), The Third (Der Dritte, 1972), Lotte in Weimar (1974), The Sorrows of Young Werther, (Die Leiden des jungen Werther, 1976), Rosamunde (1989), Stein (1991), Lenz (1992), Schrobbsdorff (1998), Die Braut (1998) and Else - Geschichte einer leidenschaftlichen Frau (TV, 1999).
Genre Drama, Biopic
Category Feature
Year of Production 1999
Director Egon Guenther
Screenplay Egon Guenther
Cinematography Peter Brand
Monika Schindler
Joseph Haydn
Cast Sybille Canonica, Christoph Waltz, Veronica Ferres, Herbert Knaup
Producer Georg Stingl
Production Company Tellux Film/Dresden, in co-production with ARTE, SWR, MDR, HR/Frankfurt, ORF/Vienna, Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures
Length 112 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2000 (German Films)
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
German Distributor PROGRESS Film-Verleih/Berlin

World Sales
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10117 Berlin/Germany
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fax +49-30-24 00 32 22

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