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Video interview
Art and Life

Interview with Nina Hoss
In the film “Schwesterlein” Nina Hoss plays the playwright Lisa, who wants to write a play for her sick brother Sven – and in doing so finds herself again. | Filmstill (detail): © Beta Cinema

In the film “My Little Sister”, Nina Hoss plays a woman who hopes to bring her cancer-stricken brother back onto the stage. The award-winning actress speaks about the power of art – and how a family deals with the subject of dying.

Can art be life-sustaining? In the film My Little Sister Lisa – played by Nina Hoss – is determined to write a drama for her sick brother Sven. Art is of central importance to the twins: Lisa is a playwright, her brother Sven was an actor on stage – up until his leukemia diagnosis – which prevents them both from pursuing creative work.

Nina Hoss herself says: “An actor has to have this feeling, and if you take away this feeling and these possibilities, you kill him faster than any disease could”. She is firmly convinced that art possesses a powerful force for life. In the film, which was shown in the 70th Berlinale competition, Lisa, played by Nina Hoss, decides to write a drama perfectly adapted to her twin brother, in the hopes that this might rescue him physically. By trying to battle the illness in this way, Lisa eventually finds her way back to herself – and Sven can “go”.

The film negotiates various perspectives on the impact of artistic creation and self-realisation. And it explores the question: How will I cope with a seriously ill family member and the inescapable topic of death?