6.9/10
137
2 user 2 critic

Sisters, or The Balance of Happiness (1979)

Schwestern oder Die Balance des Glücks (original title)
Sisters Maria and Anna live together. Maria is a most proficient executive secretary, encouraging Anna to finish her studies and start a career. Anna broods, threatens to quit university, ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (script contribution) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jutta Lampe ...
Maria Sundermann
Gudrun Gabriel ...
Anna Sundermann
Jessica Früh ...
Miriam Grau
Konstantin Wecker ...
Robert Edelschneider
Agnes Fink ...
Mutter Sundermann
Heinz Bennent ...
Münzinger
Rainer Delventhal ...
Maurice Münzinger
Fritz Lichtenhahn ...
Fritz
Günther Schütz ...
Professor
Ilse Bahrs ...
Blinde Frau
Barbara Sauerbaum ...
Maria as a Child
Marie-Helena Diekmann ...
Anna as a Child
Lieselotte Arnold ...
Frau Eder
Editha Horn ...
Sister of Blind Woman
Ellen Esser ...
Nurse Fritz
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Storyline

Sisters Maria and Anna live together. Maria is a most proficient executive secretary, encouraging Anna to finish her studies and start a career. Anna broods, threatens to quit university, takes pills, and keeps a diary. When Maria's relationship with Maurice, the son of her boss, starts to lead to love, Anna takes a selfish and drastic step that plummets Maria into solitude. No longer able to connect with Maurice, Maria does establish a relationship with Miriam, a typist at her office who becomes a surrogate younger sister. But Maria is intrusive as well as helpful. Can this or any relationship work out for this talented woman whose past seems to choke her soul? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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title directed by female | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1979 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

As Irmãs  »

Filming Locations:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
harrowing and intense
17 November 2006 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

German film of the seventies. More fun than... well actually, no fun at all.

A glib analysis would state that all the war babies and boomers came of age, and began to express their neuroses on film. People talk about "war guilt" - that was part of it, but also a phenomenal feeling of sadness and melancholy. It pervades this film; there's a feeling of the events taking place just after something appalling. The war and its aftermath are 'the two-hundred-pound gorilla in the corner': unmentioned, unpictured, and undeniable.

I suppose, in a way, this movie is a distant Teutonic cousin of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" - a simple domestic story of sisters going mad in their own ways. You could almost describe the scenario as 'banal', but it's delivered with such intensity and integrity that the results are genuinely tragic.

The acting is outrageously good. Unlike the Davis / Crawford epic, this one doesn't shy away from lesbian sexual energy between the two siblings, which adds another layer of creepiness.


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