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photo © Badlands Film/Lars Kraume

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2012

The idea for Lars Kraume’s latest project DAS HERZ MEINER SCHWESTERN had already been in development with screenwriter Esther Bernstorff at his Berlin-based production company Badlands Film before the futuristic thriller DAYS TO COME, which was released in autumn 2010.

“The story is based on the experiences Lars had with a cousin who was something of a charismatic figure in the family,” producer Frank Döhmann recalls. “Everyone knew that his days were numbered, but he lived life to the fullest and didn't cut himself off from other people.”

Bernstorff's screenplay centers on Linda who embarks on one last journey together with her two sisters Katharina and Clara before having a major heart operation.

Kraume explains that the project was developed in improvisations for and with the lead actresses “in admiration of Mike Leigh” and focuses on “the fundamental question of how three sisters in their early 30s become close to one another again in the face of death and give each other strength and the power to live.”

“Having small digital cameras meant that we could get up close to the actors and achieve an emotional, direct authenticity,” Döhmann adds. “That was important for Lars. At the beginning of the shoot, he showed Cassavetes’ HUSBANDS to the cast and crew because this is the kind of authenticity he is looking for.”

A particular characteristic of this “small and intimate film” is that the shoot was organized chronologically. “It is a kind of road movie,” Döhmann says, “because we go from Hamburg to St. Peter Ording – the place where the family used to spend its holidays – and then to Paris – a destination of longing for the sisters where their aunt and uncle live. It gave Lars and the actresses a whole new freedom and slight adjustments could be made to the storyline without worrying that this would not be compatible with later scenes.“

Genre Drama
Category Feature
Director Lars Kraume
Screenplay Esther Bernstorff
Cinematography Jens Harant
Cast Nina Kunzendorf, Jördis Triebel, Beatrice Dalle, Angela Winkler, Ernst Stötzner
Producers Lars Kraume, Frank Döhmann
Co-Producers Christian Granderath, Andreas Schreitmüller
Production Company Badlands Film/Berlin, in co-production with NDR, ARTE
 German, French
Shooting Dates September-October 2011

Badlands Film