Set in Berlin during the Romantic Era, Jessica Hausner’s accomplished costume drama is based on the life and death of the 19th-century author Heinrich von Kleist.
Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his skeptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. It is whilst coming to terms with this refusal, ineffably distressed by his cousin's insensitivity to the depth of his feelings, that Heinrich meets Henriette, the wife of a business acquaintance. Heinrich's subsequent offer to the beguiling young woman at first holds scant appeal, that is until Henriette discovers she is suffering from a terminal illness.
Austria, 2014, 95min, German with English subtitles, directed by Jessica Hausner
In 2019 CineClub investigates the relationship of Austrian cinema and genre. We continue in the spring with a closer look at Austrian historical period dramas from the silent era to current festival highlights.