Germany, France

Synopsis

Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.

Directors Statement

“You humans! You monsters!” Thus begins Ingeborg Bachmann’s narration “Undine Leaves”. Undine is the betrayed woman of the waters. According to the myth, she lives in a lake in the forest. A man who’s fatefully enamoured with a woman, whose love is unrequited and hopeless, who no longer knows what to do with himself or his feelings, who suffers absolute despair ... can enter the forest, go to the banks of the lake and cry out Undine’s name. And she’ll come. And love him. Their love is a pact that may never be betrayed. And if it is betrayed, then the man must die. Then it comes to pass that he who loves and is loved seems easy and free, lovable and desirable once more. In the myth, the previously hopelessly adored woman suddenly becomes interested in the man again. And he leaves Undine to marry her, his first love. On the night of their wedding, Undine enters the bedroom and embraces the man in a bubble of water that’s going to drown him. “I wept him to death!” she stammers at the scuttling servants before disappearing into the lake in the forest. Our Undine is a city historian in Berlin, giving guided tours for the Senate Administration for Urban Development. She has just been left and betrayed by someone whose name is Johannes. Going by the myth, she would take revenge on Johannes and kill him, but Undine defies the myth. She doesn’t want to return to the curse, to the lake in the forest. She doesn’t want to leave. She wants to love. She meets someone else. And it’s this love story that UNDINE tells.

Director's Biography

Born in 1960 in Hilden, Germany, Christian Petzold completed German and Theatre studies at the Free University of Berlin and subsequently Directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin between 1988 and 1994.

FILMOGRAPHY:
2020 UNDINE
2017 TRANSIT
2015 PHOENIX
2012 BARBARA
2010 DREILEBEN - Something Better Than Death
2008 JERICHOW
2007 YELLA
2005 GHOSTS
2003 WOLFSBURG
2002 SOMETHING TO REMIND ME
2001 THE STATE I AM IN
1998 THE SEX THIEF
1996 CUBA LIBRE
1995 PILOTS
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Christian Petzold

Written by: Christian Petzold

Produced by: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber, Margaret Menegoz

Cinematography: Hans Fromm

Editing: Bettina Böhler

Production Design: Merlin Ortner

Costume Design: Katharina Ost

Make-Up & Hair: Scharka Cechova, Franziska Röder

Sound: Andreas Mücke-Niesytka

Casting: Simone Bär

Main Cast: Franz Rogowski (Christoph), Maryam Zaree (Monika), Jacob Matschenz (Johannes), Paula Beer (Undine)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 2020
  • European Film 2020
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2020