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When the truth becomes unbearable, people start lying - to each other and themselves. For Sarah and Bob it was love at first sight. She was a German music student and he was an American tourist. Now, years later, the picture-perfect marriage has itself become a lie - despite the white clapboard house in the New England countryside and two wonderful children. Sarah is lonely, but, in denial, she struggles desperately to keep it all together. Bob, basically a loving husband, starts to unravel. When they both begin affairs, their marriage reaches the point of no return.

Out of the blue, Sarah is called to her mother's deathbed in Munich. Bob accuses her of trying to kidnap the kids and refuses to let them go. Upon her return, airport immigration authorities inform Sarah that Bob has filed for divorce, that she either sign away custody of the kids or be deported to Germany on the next plane and face an extended battle for the right to reside in the U.S. She signs the papers, returns to an empty house and tries to rectify a situation in which everyone is suffering, the children most of all. Betty, Sarah's loyal friend, does all she can to lower the level of hostility, help Sarah beat the odds and get a new life.

PRIVATE LIES is the tender yet compelling story of a woman's struggle to prevail over the injustice, pain, and animosity of a marriage gone wrong.

Sherry Hormann was born in Kingston/New York in 1960 and moved to Germany in 1966. She studied at the University of Television & Film in Munich from 1979-1983 and worked in continuity and as an assistant director for television and film until 1986. Since then, she has been active as a scriptwriter, production designer and director. Her directorial debut SILENT SHADOWS (1991) won German Film Awards for Best Film, Best Female Actress and Best Soundtrack in 1992 as well as the Bavarian Film Award for Best Newcomer Director and the Max Ophüls Award. Her other films include: FRAUEN SIND WAS WUNDERBARES (1993), DOUBTING THOMAS (IRREN IST MÄNNLICH, 1995), THE CELLIST (1996), WIDOWS (1997), PRIVATE LIES (2000), MY DAUGHTER'S TEARS (2002), BALLS (MÄNNER WIE WIR, 2004), DESERT FLOWER (WÜSTENBLUME, 2009), and A REGULAR WOMAN (NUR EINE FRAU, 2019).
Category Feature
Director Sherry Hormann
Screenplay Gabriela Sperl
Cinematography Ken Kelsch
David Gulick
Mason Daring
Cast Sarah Fischer, Vyto Ruginis, John Corbett, Marianne Sägebrecht, Martina Gedeck, David Mokriski
Producer Otto Grokenberger
Production Company TV60 Film/Munich, in co-production with WDR, NDR/Hamburg, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ORF/Vienna, SRF/Zurich
Length 102 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo

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