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photo © Peter Heilrath Filmproduktion/Peter Hartwig

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2012

“I was immediately hooked,” recalls director Andreas Kleinert when the producers inquired if he would be interested in bringing Roland Schimmelpfennig’s play Die Frau von früher to the cinema screen.

“The play has a very original way of reflecting on our times,” Kleinert explains, “and Schimmelpfennig has a particular style where he manages to integrate major ideological concepts into private relationships. The play is ingeniously constructed with time warps which will also feature in the film. So there are gaps in our knowledge which means we are often presented with the results of things where one only learns later on how they came about.”

Stefan Kolditz’s suspense-packed psychological drama opens with Frank (Devid Striesow), his wife Claudia (Anna Loos) and their 17-year-old son about to set off to Toronto. A professional fiasco is forcing the family to start anew. But suddenly Frank’s childhood sweetheart Romy (Ursina Lardi) turns up at the front door. 24 years ago, Frank had sworn eternal love, and that’s what Romy is now demanding. A demand that takes everyone to the limit and reveals their darkest sides.

“In the play, the setting was rather abstract, but in the film one we will see that it is located in Berlin, yet one won’t see the typical Berlin and this isn’t supposed to be concrete,” Kleinert explains. “The idea is that the story takes place in a big city which could just as well be somewhere like London or Zurich.”

“I have never made a film which is so heavy on dialogue,” he continues, “but the story lives from these intelligent and original texts as well as from the interplay of the characters passing from irony to the depths of the human soul.”

DIE FRAU VON FRÜHER is Kleinert’s first film for the cinema since HEAD UNDER WATER in 2007, and the team includes DoP Johann Feindt, with whom he has worked on several projects in the past, and production designer Myrna Drews who worked on his BOUNDARIES in 2010.

The past credits of Bavarian production house Peter Heilrath Filmproduktion include SLEEPER and THE ROBBER. Heilrath was also involved in the financing of DESERT FLOWER as an associate producer.