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Helma Sanders-Brahms was born in Emden in 1940. She attended the drama school for music and theater in Hanover, and studied German and English Languages in Cologne. She worked as a television announcer for WDR and from 1976-1969 became a guest student with both Pier Paolo Pasolini and Sergio Corbucci. Under the Pavement Lies the Beach became her breakthrough in 1975. Heinrich (1976), her film on the life and death of the German poet Heinrich von Kleist, was awarded the German Film Award in 1977. Her film Germany, Pale Mother (1980) remains an international success today and is one of the classics of German cinema. Her other films include: Shirin's Wedding (1975), No Mercy No Future (1981), The Future of Emily (1984), Laputa (1986), Manouevres (1989), Apple Trees (1991), My Heart is Mine Alone (1997), Colour of Soul (2003), and Clara (2008).