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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 (Film Catalogue)

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.

With his film recommendations (in UPPERCASE) Wieland Speck traces central themes of social development in Germany. The recommendations are accompanied by additional proposals (in "quotes").