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Hilde

Hilde
Heike Makatsch as "Hilde" (photo © Egoli Tossell Film)

Broadway star, songstress, screen diva, international icon and bestselling author – Hildegard Knef was many things. But more than anything else, she was a fighter who often fell, but never stayed down.

Berlin, 1943. The collapse of Nazi Germany looms, but young Hilde marches through the rubble of Berlin with only one thought in her head: she wants to become a star. With luck, looks, the right men and overwhelming self-confidence, she makes her way in the film world, both during and after the war, swapping her Nazi lover for a young Jewish husband. Hollywood beckons, but Hilde is no Marlene. Underemployed and frustrated, she longs for Germany. The divided country welcomes her back, but a short nude scene in The Sinner (1950) provokes a national scandal, making her an outcast in her own country. Internationally, she becomes what she's always wanted to be: a star, on the big screen, on Broadway, in America and Europe. The years go by in a whirl of successes and failures, of ups and downs. Yet even as her film career wanes, she picks herself up and embarks on a new journey...


Kai Wessel was born in Hamburg in 1961. After completing his studies, he began working as an assistant director. He made his breakthrough with Martha Jellneck, which was nominated for the German Film Award in 1988. Among his most noted television productions are the filming of the diaries of the Jewish literature professor Victor Klemperer, Klemperer – Ein Leben in Deutschland (1999), as well as Hat er Arbeit? (2000), Goebbels und Geduldig (2001) and Leben waere schoen (2003), which won the Adolf Grimme Award in 2004. His epic miniseries Die Flucht (2007) was one of the top-rated fiction productions of 2007.
Genre Drama, Biopic
Category Feature
Year of Production 2008
Director Kai Wessel
Screenplay Maria von Heland
Cinematography Hagen Bogdanski
Tina Freitag
Martin Todsharow
Thomas Freudenthal
Cast Heike Makatsch, Dan Stevens, Monica Bleibtreu, Michael Gwisdek, Hanns Zischler
Producer Judy Tossell
Production Company Egoli Tossell Film/Berlin, in co-production with MMC Independent/Cologne
Length 137 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German & English
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Berlin 2009 (Berlinale Special Gala), Shanghai 2009, Vancouver 2009, Warsaw 2009, Kolkata 2009, Göteborg 2010
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, MEDIA
German Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures

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