films and documentaries Marianne and Juliane

Die Bleierne Zeit (“Marianne & Juliane,” as this film is known in America) tells the story of two German sisters, one a journalist and the other a terrorist. The story is closely based on the life of Gudrun Ensslin and her sister Christine. The story is fictionalized, but it so closely resembles the life of Ensslin that one is tempted to view it as a bio-pic (in fact, the film is dedicated to Christine Ensslin).

A tremendously moving, thought-provoking film. The director Margarethe Von Trotta had a hand in two other very important Baader-Meinhof era films: she co-directed The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (“Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum”) with her now ex-husband Volker Schlöndorff, and she wrote a segment for the compilation film Deutschland im Herbst.

This movie is extremely hard to track down with English subtitles (as of the mid 2000s it’s available used as a VHS tape through Amazon for about $100). A dvd of the production is available from Amazon.de (Germany Amazon) in our store, but I don’t believe it contains English subtitles.