August 2017, arsenal cinema

The DEFA Foundation Presents: For Ulrich Mühe

HÄLFTE DES LEBENS, 1984

We commemorate actor Ulrich Mühe, who died in 2007 and whose cinematic roots lay at DEFA in the 1980s. In HÄLFTE DES LEBENS (East Germany 1984) by Herrmann Zschoche, Mühe plays poet Friedrich Hölderlin. The film tells the tragic love story between him and banker's wife Susette Gontard (Jenny Gröllmann). Hölderlin goes to work as a teacher in the Gontard home and falls in love with the lady of the house. Yet their happiness is fleeting.

SEHNSUCHT was made in 1989 and directed by cameraman and filmmaker Jürgen Brauer. Poet Jurij Koch wrote the scenario based on his novella "Der Kirschbaum". Ulrich Mühe plays an engineer named Sieghart who falls in love with a young farmer named Ena (Ulrike Krumbiegel) and takes her from her Sorbian village to Paris following the dearth of her fiancée. Yet the memories of her home won't let Ena find peace. (jh) (7.8.)