Film - Homage: CineMerit Award | Barbara Sukowa Filmfest 2023


Directed by Margarethe von Trotta


Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Section: Homage: CineMerit Award | Barbara Sukowa
Country: Federal Republic of Germany, Czechoslovakia
Year: 1986
Language: German, French, Polish
Version: Original version with English subtitles
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Daniel Olbrychski, Otto Sander, Adelheid Arndt, Jürgen Holtz
18+ (no age rating)


Margarethe von Trotta's sensitive portrait of a radical peace activist is a part of contemporary German history which earned Barbara Sukowa the best actress award at Cannes in 1986.

Rosa Luxemburg only wanted a happy life. But the social conditions around 1900 stoked this pacifist's sense of justice. She intervened in political events and became the most popular advocate of humane socialism. The uncompromising attitude of this brave revolutionary was anathema to Germany's Social Democratic Party, which expelled Luxemburg, leaving only her comrades-in-arms Clara Zetkin and Karl Liebknecht on her side. The final years of her life were defined by trials, prison terms, and political unrest. In 1919, Luxemburg and Liebknecht, who had founded the German Communist Party, were murdered by the Reichswehr in an act of treachery.

Meet the director


Margarethe von Trotta

Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942. During the 1960s, she lived in Paris, where she first encountered the film scene. Back in Germany, she studied German and Romance languages and literature, but soon focused instead on receiving training in acting in Munich. She has appeared in front of the camera for Herbert Achternbusch, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Volker Schlöndorff. She was in fact married to Schlöndorff from 1971 to 1991. In 1975, the two directed THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM together. In 1981, von Trotta received a Golden Lion at the Venice Festival for MARIANNE & JULIANE, a fictionalized double biography based on the lives of the sisters Christiane and Gudrun Ensslin. Decades later, her film ROSENSTRASSE (2003) was also honored in Venice. Trotta's films often center around women who defined the period they lived in or who were even ahead of their time; recent examples include VISION – FROM THE LIFE OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN (2009) and HANNAH ARENDT (2012). Von Trotta has had a longstanding collaboration with actresses Katja Riemann and Barbara Sukowa.


Screenplay: Margarethe von Trotta
Director of Photography: Franz Rath
Composer: Nicolas Economou
Costume Design: Monika Hasse
Casting director: Sabine Schroth
Producer: Eberhard Junkersdorf, Regina Ziegler