Margarethe von Trotta was born February 21, 1942. She grew up in Düsseldorf.
She gained her first experiences with film in Paris. She returned to Germany in the early 60s and acted in some shorts and started a degree in Fine Arts. She studied German and Romance languages in Paris and Munich and attended the drama school in Munich. image © Goethe Institute
Her acting career started in 1965 with an engagement at the Stuttgart Theatre. Eventaually she became one the most famous actresses of the New German Film, staring in movies by Herbert Achternbusch, Rainhard Hauff, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In 1969 she met Volker Schlöndorff and they were married in 1971.
Around the same time, she began writing screenplays. Her first work as a director was with Volker Schlöndorff (Der plötzliche Reichtum der armen Leute von Kronbach). In 1975, they co-directed The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum. THe first film she wrote and directed by herself was The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1977). It was followedIn 1979 by Sisters or the Balance of Happiness.
In 1981, she gained international success with Die bleierne Zeit (The German Sisters or Marianne and Juliane). In 1985, she made a film about Rosa Luxemburg with Barbara Sukowa in the title role. In 1989, von Trotta took part in the co-production Felix (with other renowned German women filmmakers Helke Sander, Helma Sanders-Brahms, and Christel Buschmann). She is separated from V. Schlöndorff and lives in Paris.
The Promise (1994) was the first serious film to discuss German (re)unification and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 2001, the ARD screened von Trotta's four part mini-series "Jahrestage".
Rosenstraße was released on DVD in January 2005 to critical acclaim. Read a review here.
Filmography: English / Deutsch
"The Promise": Reviews
The Real "Marianne":Gudrun Ensslin
The Leaden Years
Liberation from Rosenstraße
Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstraße Protest in Nazi Germany