Margarethe von Trotta (1942) is a German film director who has been referred to as a “leading force” of the New German Cinema movement. Von Trotta boasts an impressive body of work that has won her awards all over the world in the last forty years. She was married to and collaborated with director Volker Schlöndorff. Although they made a successful team, von Trotta felt she was seen as secondary to Schlöndorff. Subsequently, she established
a solo career for herself and became “Germany’s foremost female film director, who has offered the most sustained and successful female variant of Autorenkino in postwar German film history.” Certain aspects of von Trotta’s work have been compared to Ingmar Bergman’s features from the 1960s and 1970s. She says that it was thanks to Bergman’s films that she “‘fell in love’ with the medium and its possibilities for representing inner psychic worlds.”
She co-wrote many of the scripts for his films, and in 1975 the two of them co-directed The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975). In 1977, von Trotta directed her first solo feature The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1978) (The Second Awakening of Christa Klages). With her third film, Marianne & Juliane (1981), von Trotta’s position as New German Cinema’s most prominent and successful female filmmaker was fully secured. Other films: Sheer Madness (Heller Wahn, 1983), , Love and Fear (Fürchten und Lieben / Paura e amore, 1988), Rosa_Luxemburg, Vision (Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen, 2009), Hannah_Arendt (2012).
Von Trotta has been called “the world’s leading feminist filmmaker.” The predominant aim of her films is to create new representations of women. Her films are concerned with relationships between and among women (sisters, best friends, etc.), as well as with relationships between women and men, and involve political setting. Nevertheless, she rejects the suggestion that she makes “women’s films”.