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Katja Riemann, Martin Feifel (photo © Studio Hamburg)

New York 2001. After her husband dies, Ruth seems to be acting very distraught, according to her daughter Hannah. When Hannah starts probing into the past, she finds out that her mother, whose Jewish parents were deported during World War II, was raised by an "Aryan" woman named Lena. Hannah travels to Berlin and finds the now almost 90-year-old Lena. The old woman tells Hannah her story: the story of the women of the Rosenstrasse.

Lena was married to a Jewish musician. One day when he didn't come home from work, she went out looking for him. After a bureaucratic odyssey, she is sent to the Rosenstrasse, where she finds other women also looking for their Jewish husbands who have been incarcerated there. It is in the Rosenstrasse that Lena meets little Ruth.

Upon the wives' diligent insistence, the men are released, but Ruth's mother is deported. Ruth stays with Lena until relatives in the United States send for her. After losing her own mother, Ruth cannot stand losing Lena too, and, in a furious rage, throws the ring that she once received from her mother at Lena's feet.

When Hannah returns with this ring, Ruth is finally able to come to terms with her past.

Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Margarethe von Trotta
Screenplay Margarethe von Trotta, Pamela Katz
Cinematography Franz Rath
Corina Dietz
Loek Dikker
Heike Bauersfeld
Cast Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, Fedja van Huêt, Jutta Lampe, Doris Schade, Jürgen Vogel, Martin Feifel, Svea Lohde, Thekla Reuten
Producers Richard Schoeps, Henrik Meyer, Markus Zimmer
Production Companies Studio Hamburg Letterbox, Tele München/Munich, in co-production with Get Reel/Amsterdam
Runtime 135 min
Format color, 35 mm
Dubbed Versions German
Subtitled Versions English, French, Italian, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Venice 2003 (in competition), Toronto 2003 (Gala), Ghent/Flanders 2003, Viareggio 2003, Berlin 2004 (German Cinema), Denver 2004, Miami 2010, Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Reykjavik 2015, Créteil 2018, Sao Paulo 2019
Awards Coppa Volpi for Best Leading Actress (Katja Riemann) Venice 2003, Donatello Award (Italian Film Award) 2004
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, BKM, Eurimages, NCRV, Dutch Film Fund, Cobo Fund
German Distributor Concorde Filmverleih

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