Filmfest 2016

German Age Rating

Film Website

Another of Petzold’s TV movies, about a woman who seduces men at hotel bars with lines like “I’m as lonely as a retiree on Majorca.” Soon she’s scamming for her sister, too, who also needs money. “It was meant as the second part of PILOTS, two women, sisters this time, one of them an aging Sex Thief. It’s a word I picked up from Alexander Kluge. It sounds so matter-of-fact and yet magical at the same time. How can you steal sex? That’s what preoccupied me: A woman who steals sexuality. But the Sex Thief resists being called a prostitute, because she doesn’t actually sleep with the men. She just gets them so horny their brains stop working. Then she slips them a mickey, waits till they fall over, takes all their money and disappears. The horrible part about this kind of scam is she has to pretend to come on to them, listening to them for two hours. It takes a price on her soul, not on her body. The Sex Thief played by Constanze Engelbrecht is in her early 40s and realizes: I’m even more messed up than a whore.” –Christian Petzold

Print courtesy of Austrian Film Museum

tags: Aging, Women, Love, Sexuality, Feature film

Cast: Constanze Engelbrecht, Nele Mueller-Stöfen, Wolfram Berger, Richy Müller


Screenplay: Christain Petzold, Harun Farocki

Director of Photography: Hans Fomm

Film Editor: Katja Dringenberg

Composer: Stefan Will

Production Designer: K.D. Gruber

Costume Design: Anette Guther

Sound: Martin Ehlers-Falkenberg, Heino Herrenbrück

Producer: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber

Production Company: Schramm Film Koerner & Weber

Director: Christian Petzold

Editor: Bettina Reitz, Caroline von Senden

TV channel: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Arte


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden, North Rhine Westphalia, in 1960. He moved to Berlin in 1981, studying German lit and theater studies at the Free University. He graduated in 1989 and went on to study directing at dffb film school, working as assistant director for Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki, and writing film criticism. Petzold shot his graduating film PILOTINNEN 1994. After TV movies CUBA LIBRE and DIE BEISCHLAFDIEBIN he shot his first theatrical film THE STATE I AM IN (2000), a daram about a teen and his parents, who are wanted terrorists. The film won a string of awards, including the German Film Prize in Gold as Best Film. In 2001, Petzold’s collaboration with Nina Hoss began on SOMETHING TO REMIND ME, with whom he went on to shoot a series of films: WOLFSBURG (2003) won the Berlinale FIPRESCI Award and the Adolf Grimme Prize in Gold. Nina Hoss also starred in YELLA (2007), JERICHOW (2009) and BARBARA (2012). He shot an episode of TV three-parter DREILEBEN (2011). Petzold’s latest theatrical film PHOENIX (2013/2014), also starring Nina Hoss, won the International Film Critics’ Award at San Sebastián Film Festival.