Margarethe von Trotta (born 21 February 1942) is a German female film director and a "leading force" of the New German Cinema movement. She is regarded as “the world’s leading feminist filmmaker.” Her films are more concerned with “feminine aesthetics” than with an upfront exploration of “political action” like that of her fellow German female filmmakers. The connections between females within her work all have a serious tone that seems to be a bit “tortured.” But, she rejects the term “women’s films” to label her work. Many of von Trotta’s full-length films have been matched up to Ingmar Bergman’s features from the 1960s and 70s, which is no small feat. She claims that, thanks to seeing Bergman’s work, she “ ‘fell in love’ with the medium and its possibilities for representing inner psychic worlds.” On top of that, she boasts an impressive body of work that has won her awards all over the world in the last forty years.
She was married to and collaborated with director Volker Schlöndorff. Although they made a great team in the filmic realm, von Trotta felt she was seen as secondary to Schlöndorff. These feelings led to von Trotta making a solo career for herself and becoming “Germany’s foremost female film director, who has offered the most sustained and successful female variant of Autorenkino in postwar German film history.” The predominant theme of von Trotta’s films is to create a new representation for females.
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“If it were not somewhat fanciful to suppose that every human excellence is presented, as it were, in one kind of being, we might believe that the whole treasure of morality and order is enshrined in the female character.”
—Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt (17671835)