Films & Schedules

  • A Woman in Berlin
    Anonyma – Eine Frau in Berlin

  • Max Färberböck

131 minutes

Production Company:
Constantin Film Produktion GmbH/Tempus SP. Zo.o
Executive Producer:
Bernhard Thuer
Guenter Rohrbach
Max Färberböck, based on the anonymous diary Eine Frau in Berlin
Production Designer:
Uli Hanisch
Benedict Neuenfels
Ewa J. Lind
Manfred Banach
Zbigniew Preisner
Principal Cast: Nina Hoss, Evgeny Sidikhin, Irm Hermann, Ruediger Vogler, Ulrike Krumbiegel

International Sales Agent:
Beta Cinema

Wednesday September 1006:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1112:00PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1305:45PM VARSITY 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Crafted with a dedicated eye for detail by director Max Färberböck, A Woman in Berlin is adapted from a German woman's best-selling diaries, published anonymously in 1954. This film sees Färberböck return to the nightmarish vision of wartorn Berlin that provided the backdrop for forbidden love in his cinematic Aimée & Jaguar.

It is April 1945, and the Red Army is invading Berlin. A photographer and journalist (eloquently played by award-winning actor Nina Hoss) becomes the victim of a traumatic sexual assault at the hands of her purported liberators. She grows desperate to find someone who can protect and comfort her, and meets a Soviet officer named Andrej, with whom she soon develops a powerful relationship. However, their passion is forbidden. As enemies, how can they be lovers?

A Woman in Berlin is a stirring and visually striking experience providing insight into events that we can know only through textbooks. It is also a captivating love story about a “deal with the devil” that is brilliantly portrayed by the leading actors, who ensure that the emotions at play are never reduced to simplistic terms.

Depicting the end of the Second World War – and all the compromises it required – with a decidedly lucid approach, the film offers a rare perspective on the women of Berlin who were left with nothing. Highly reminiscent of the rubble film cycle, which dealt with the impact of the war on European cities, the film is characterized by its evocative use of bombed urban spaces to convey the realities of the survivors' ravaged lives.

A Woman in Berlin blurs the lines between friend, lover and enemy. With echoes that resonate in more recent conflicts from Bosnia to Rwanda, this vital film shows the treacherous dilemmas that women must navigate in times of war.

Cameron Bailey

Max Färberböck was born in Deggendorf, Germany, and studied at the Munich Academy for Television and Film. After working in theatre and television, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Aimée & Jaguar (99), which was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign language film. His other features include Jenseits (01), September (03) and A Woman in Berlin (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award