70 Years of Berliner Festspiele

Geschichten über Berlin

Hildegard Knef, Berliner Lektionen 1989
Renaissance Theater, 27.10.1989

In her reading at Berliner Lektionen in 1989, the actor, singer and author Hildegard Knef offered insights into the significant stages of her life and took a stand on socio-political issues of her time.

Hildegard Knef stands in front of a lectern in a dark room. In her left hand she holds a pair of glasses and in her right hand a glass of water. She is dressed in black and smiles.

Hildegard Knef in: “Stories about Berlin”, Berliner Lektionen 1989. Film, colour, sound. Film still

© Berliner Festspiele | Haus Bertelsmann | ZEIT-Stiftung | Funkturm Verlag

  • 113 min
  • German without subtitles

“She has become a symbolic figure for Berlin in the post-war years and her professional and personal lives reflect our own story: she has become part of our lives. She grew up in Berlin, she made her first film in 1944, she survived the end of the war here – imprisonment, escape, hunger – Viktor de Kowa at the Kurfürstendamm, gave her her first theatre role and then for DEFA in 1946, she was in the first film after the war ‘Murderers Among Us’, directed by Wolfang Staudte. In 1947 she went to the USA – and in 1950 she came back. ‘The Sinner’ brought scandal and success. Her international breakthrough came on Broadway in 1954. 675 performances as Ninotchka. 50 international films, then theatre: in 1960 at the Schlosspark Theater for Barlog. Perhaps Hildegard Knef also acted on this stage? In 1963 she started her second career as a chanteuse. Ella Fitzgerald called her: ‘the greatest singer in the world without a voice.’ In 1970 she became a writer. ‘The Gift Horse’, and in 1975 ‘The Verdict’. In 1975 there was also the film ‘Everyone Dies Alone’ based on Hans Fallada. In 1982 she moved to Hollywood and made a film in 1984 with Helma Sanders-Brahms. In 1987 she played the landlady in ‘Cabaret’ at the Theater des Westens. Now in 1989 here ‘Stories about Berlin’ by and with Hildegard Knef.”

Introduction spoken by Artistic Director Ulrich Eckhardt

© Berliner Festspiele | Haus Bertelsmann | ZEITStiftung | Funkturm Verlag