My Sister Maria (2002)

Genres - Film, TV & Radio, History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Austria, Germany, Switzerland  |  
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Eighteen years after his acclaimed 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, actor/director Maximilian Schell has created another moving portrait of a German-speaking actress, this time his own sister. Meine Schwester Maria documents the rapid rise and decline of Maria Schell, the briefly beloved star of such films as Die Ratten and The Brothers Karamosov. Using excerpts of her feature films along with home movie footage, Schell explores the high points his sister's career throughout the 1950s, as well as the personal problems that cast her into obscurity only a decade later. The film offers quite a few emotional peaks, especially when an elderly Maria Schell goes before her brother's camera to speak candidly about her life, and a suicide attempt which she refers to as her "first death."

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Keywords

actor, mental-breakdown, sibling, suicide-attempt