In 1965, ten years after the premiere of the first part of SISSI when Romy Schneider already entered the European career, Hans-Juergen Syberberg decided to make this documentary in order to create a right image of the actress. Romy being affected by the sweet image of a princess could not free herself from fanatical audience who associated her with Sissi trilogy to that extent that when referring to Romy, many referred to Sissi. This documentary became a sort of cure and now, it is one of the very few documentaries that we can consider truly accurate. Why?
The entire 60 minutes of the film are not supplied with interviewed stars who knew Ms Schneider, with some linear life story that would only generalize or simplify a lot of facts. This one hour is filled with thoughts of Romy Schneider expressed by herself. We get the footage of various images of Romy in private and reflections on her job affecting her life. We get to know Romy as nowhere else, her quest for happiness, her profound search for simple life. Here, she is not an actress nor any character she portrayed but Romy Schneider herself. As a result, the documentary gives the picture of the personality more than a celebrity.
Moreover, although the film was made when Romy Schneider's career was still growing in the film industry, the viewers acknowledged about her life do notice a reflection, a sort of foreseeing of the later events deduced from Romy's words. Things said by her in the mid 1960s do constitute a meaningful explanation of her later life story. She says, for instance, "I hate the system of stars"...that was something that deprived her of personal freedom and led to tragedies of 1981 and 1982. She longs for calm life as she had in Berchtesgaden in her childhood. Once she said "Erinnerinung Ist Oft Das Schonste Im Leben" (Memory is often the best thing we get in life)... that speaks for all the rest.
The archive footage are not of best quality perhaps, there are some chaotic moments, too. Yet, this unconventional form meant and still means an escape from being "beautifully worn" in sweetness and supreme idea of prefabricated style. Black and white, of course, no modern cameras but a picture of heart. It is a true pearl for anyone who likes Romy Schneider to see her simply as she was filmed more than 40 years ago. A woman with struggles, with dreams, with personal "ego" being declined, yet no "idol" whatsoever.
A unique documentary about a unique actress that Romy Schneider was!
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