Film Screening Sheer Madness

Angela Winkler and Hannah Schygulla in Margarethe von Trotta’s Sheer Madness © Water Bearer Films


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

Director Margarethe von Trotta weaves a wondrously compelling tale of friendship and feminism around the relationship of two seemingly opposite women. Olga is a professor of women’s literature, while Ruth is a gifted and extremely reticent artist who is desperately fearful of the outside world. From their first meeting, they share a warmth and understanding whose intensity “can be only dimly understood by the film’s other principals, who have the ill fortune to be men” (New York Times). Superbly acted by screen legends Hannah Schygulla and Angela Winkler, at the time of its release Sheer Madness was decried alternately for being too feminist and not queer enough. Decades later, it remains among von Trotta’s most powerful films and continues to resist oversimplification.
Heller Wahn
Germany, 1985, 106 min.
Directed by Margarethe von Trotta
With Hannah Schygulla, Angela Winkler, Peter Striebeck