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.
Germany, 1985, 106 min.
Directed by Margarethe von Trotta
With Hannah Schygulla, Angela Winkler, Peter Striebeck