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1999 | 126 min.
Aimée and Jaguar

By Wieland Speck

AIMÉE UND JAGUAR (Aimée And Jaguar)

Director: Max Färberböck | Germany, 1999 | 126 minutes | Color
Languages: German with English subtitles
US Distribution: Zeitgeist Films
Availabe at: Goethe-Institut

As early as the late 1920s, quite a few German intellectuals and artists had a keen awareness of what Nazi rule would mean. The film “Escape to Life – The Erika and Klaus Mann Story” by Andrea Weiss and Wieland Speck relies exclusively on texts by its homosexual protagonists and on contemporary witnesses. Within less than a month after the Nazis took power, Erika and Klaus Mann left Germany to continue writing and playing against the regime from abroad. Their political cabaret Die Pfeffermühle (The Pepper Mill) – still being performed in the neighboring basement of the Nazi headquarters in Munich while the Reichstag was already on fire in Berlin – bears witness to this and to what it means to live in exile. (Documentary/feature film hybrid)
In Max Färberböck’s AIMÉE AND JAGUAR, the protagonists remain in Berlin throughout the Nazi period. For a long time not aware that her lover, who turns her life upside down, is Jewish, the wife of a Nazi is determined to fight their happiness together, at a time when the highest of dangers was part of everyday life. This brilliant and haunting feature film from the Berlinale Competition brings together a star cast including Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Heike Makatsch, and Inge Keller.