Jessica Hausner reinterprets a famous double suicide in this clever historical drama.
Berlin in the age of Romanticism: a world-weary poet named Heinrich seeks to overcome death through love. The plan: acting together, he and a woman are to take their own lives and thus confront the inevitable. His dear cousin Marie cannot be persuaded under any circumstances. But when Henriette, the young wife of an acquaintance, learns that she is terminally ill, she takes a liking to the idea.
Meet the director
Jessica Hausner was born in 1972 in Vienna, where she attended the Film Academy. Her short film FLORA received an award at the Locarno Film Festival, as did her graduation film INTER-VIEW at the Cinéfondation in Cannes in 1999. That year, she founded the production company coop99 with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda, and Martin Gschlacht.
Hausner's feature-length debut, LOVELY RITA, celebrated its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. Three years later, she presented her next film, HOTEL, there. LOURDES was screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2009, where it earned the FIPRESCI Prize. Lead actress Sylvie Testud received the European Film Award for it. Hausner returned to Cannes and the Un Certain Regard section five years later with AMOUR FOU. That film earned her her first Austrian Film Award in the category of best screenplay. LITTLE JOE is her fifth feature film and her first in English. Emily Beecham received a best actress award for it at Cannes. Hausner's latest film, CLUB ZERO, premiered in competition at Cannes this year.