ROLF HANS MÜLLER AWARD 2006
FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
(TV FILM FESTIVAL BADEN BADEN)
Hildegard Knef was one of the most worldreknown German actresses. Her film career includes Hollywood films with Gregory Peck, James Mason, Tyrone Power, and William Holden. She became Germany’s first film star after World War II and a symbol of a new beginning. But there is a more unknown chapter in her life: As a young actress she was discovered by Third Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and had a love affair with the powerful Nazi film propagandist Ewald von Demandowsky until 1945. Only two years later, she married a Jewish US officer, heading for Hollywood.
Hildegard Knef’s early years reflect the turmoil of that time, a love during dictatorship and war, a young woman, ambitious and hungry for a film career regardless of the political system, a relationship where feelings oppose intellect, and a love story taking place at the downfall of Berlin. As a “war bride”, Hildegard Knef moved to the States with her Jewish husband Kurt Hirsch, a young US officer who had emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1939 and had lost most of his family in the Holocaust. Hildegard hoped for some leading film roles in Hollywood – but the blond German actress was not welcomed by everybody.
The film is not only a journey back to an extraordinary time of big changes, to such places as Berlin during and after World War II and Hollywood at the time of the great studio tycoons. With new information, extensive research and interviewees who speak for the first time it explores the fascinating younger years of the international star, whose intensive life, ups and downs moved a whole nation.
PROTAGONISTS AND CREW
Kurt Hirsch (first husband), David Cameron (second husband), Paul von Schell (third husband), Alexander von Demandowsky (son of E. v. Demandowsky), Volker Schlöndorff (film director)
Written and directed by: Felix Moeller
Director of Photography: Ludolph Weyer, BVK
Sound: Martin Noweck, Markus Stoffel
Editing: Gisela Zick
Orginal Score: Marco Hertenstein
Drawings: Ollivier Kerjean
Narrator: Matthias Habich
Producer: Amelie Latscha, François Duplat
A NEF Filmproduktion/Tagore Films (Paris) Production in co-production with WDR/RBB, AVRO and YLE. Supported by the Media Program of the European Union and Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC).
First TV Run: 25th November 2005, WDR
DVD Release: 20th February 2006
Festivals: Contact Kiew, International Documentary Festival, 2006, Dokfest Kassel 2006
Awards: Rolf Hans Müller Award 2006 for best original score (TV Film Festival Baden Baden)
“The film narrates how Knef climbed the ladder and which price she had to pay for her fame.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Impressive and highly enthralling.” Der Tagesspiegel
“Excellently investigated and very substantiated.” Stuttgarter Zeitung
“Impressive research.” Berliner Zeitung
“Excellent documentary.” TAZ
“Moeller’s film is well worth seeing be it only because of the fascinating testimonies.” Frankfurter Rundschau
“An exceptional glance at the German star.” Salzburger Nachrichten