Rote Liebe - Wassilissa (1981)

Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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A fictional narrative and a documentary interview are mixed together in this film about two women deprived of independence for many years because of either their family obligations or an authoritarian spouse. In the fictional segment, based on a novel by Alexandra Kollontai (the first Soviet ambassador to Sweden and an early advocate of women's rights), the young woman Vassilissa (Sascha Hammer) learns how to stand up to her womanizing husband (Mark Eins). Director Rosa von Praunheim plays this story out in the tone of an early 20th century "morality" play. The second focus of the film is about Helga Goetze, a mother of seven children who left her brood when she was 50 years old (and her youngest was already 16) to join the Otto Muehl Commune in Vienna and live a liberated life of sexual freedom, filled with involvement in the arts, literature, and politics. Helga moved to the Kreuzberg district of West Berlin, where the on-camera interview was conducted. Director Praunheim opted for interspersing fictional and documentary segments so as to better chronicle the move toward independence and sexual "liberation" on the part of the two main female protagonists.

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Keywords

abandonment, extramarital-affair, independence, liberation, women's-issues