Germany, The Netherlands


Ruth Weinstein (JUTTA LAMPE), a New York woman, has just buried her husband. In her grief she ponders her orthodox Jewish religion, and arranges a 30-day mourning period for the whole family. What is more, she disapproves of the marriage of her daughter, Hannah (MARIA SCHRADER), to the South American Luis (FEDJA VAN Her). Hannah has no idea what could be causing this obstinate behaviour. In order to find out why her mother is behaving so strangely, Hannah makes her way to Berlin to Look for clues. There she gets in touch with the now 90-year-old Lena Fischer (DORIS SCHADE), who finally breaks the wall of silence.
As a young woman, Lena Fischer (KATJA RIEMANN) had come across the little girl called Ruth in a street in Berlin by the name of Rosenstrasse. This was the place where, in 1943, hundreds of women had gathered to demonstrate against the deportation of their Jewish husbands, who were imprisoned there at the Jewish Welfare Office. Lena was looking for her husband Fabian (MARTIN FEIFEL), and Ruth for her mother. After a despairing struggle with the National Socialist authorities in which Lena's brother Arthur JÜRGEN VOGEL), an astonished army officer, also became involved, the incredible actually happens.
The prison gates open and, like many other women, Lena is indeed able to embrace her beloved husband once again. But Ruth's mother remains missing, and so Lena takes little Ruth under her wing, thus saving her life amongst the turmoil of the last few years of the war...

Director's Biography

Aged 18, Margarethe von Trotta discovered French films for the first time during a stay in Paris in 196o, and it was then that she realized that her passion for cinema went beyond the German films she knew from her home country. Having already started Art, German and Romance studies, the young artist decided that she would go to a Munich drama school. In 1964 she received her first engagement at a Franconian/Swabian municipal theatre in Dinkelsbühl, and a year later she moved to the Altstadt Theatre in Stuttgart, before being employed by the small theatre at the zoo in Frankfurt am Main in 1969.
With Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Götter der Pest) and her husband at the time, Volker Schlöndorff, (The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum) and Herbert Achternbusch (The Andechs Feeling), the actress was responsible for some of the most outstanding films of New German Cinema.
In 1970, von Trotta worked an The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach as a writer and actress, and with that laid the foundations of a successful career as a screenwriter. Two years later, as Schlöndorff's leading actress in Strohfeuer, she received the German Critics' Prize.
The Second Awakening of Christa Klages in 1977 was her debut as a film director, and in 1978 she was immediately rewarded for it with the Filmband in Silver award. More than a dozen more cinema and television productions followed.
With works such as Marianne and Juliane: The German Sisters, for which the prizes she won included the Golden Lion in Venice and the Filmband in Gold award, Heller Wahn and Rosa Luxemburg, this woman director has made film-making history. Margerethe von Trotta was awarded the Bavarian Film Best Director Prize for The Pledge. She was commuting between Paris and Berlin at the time.
Starting in 1997 she staged with TV productions such as Winterkind and Jahrestage before the prospect of Rosenstrasse, her first cinema production since The Pledge. At that time, Margarethe von Trotta was preparing for the TV production Beischlaf auf Befehl.


1987 FELIX

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Margarethe von Trotta

Written by: Pamela Katz, Margarethe von Trotta

Produced by: Henrik Meyer, Markus Zimmer, Richard Schöps

Cinematography: Franz Rath

Editing: Corina Dietz

Production Design: Heike Bauersfeld

Costume Design: Ursula Eggert

Make-Up & Hair: Mia Schöpke, Gerhard Nemetz

Original Score: Loek Dikker

Sound Design: Eric Rueff

Cast: Maria Schrader (Hannah), Jutta Lampe (Ruth Weinstein), Jürgen Vogel (Arthur von Eschenbach), Doris Schade (Lena Fischer (90 years old)), Martin Feifel (Fabian Fischer ), Svea Lohde (Ruth (7 years old)), Fedja van Huet (Luis Marquez ), Carola Regnier (Rachel Rosenbauer), Katja Riemann (Lena Fischer)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 2003
  • Feature Film Selection 2003