At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »
Three people rob a bank to help a day care center that's in debt. Wolf is captured, Werner identified, police suspect Christa is the third. She and Werner ask Hans, a clergyman, to launder ... See full summary »
Margarethe von Trotta
Laschen, a German journalist, travels to the city of Beirut during the fights between Christians and Palestinians to produce an essay about the situation. Together with his photographer, he... See full summary »
Rita Vogt is a radical West German terrorist who abandons the revolution and settles in East Germany with a new identity provided by the East German secret service. She lives in constant ... See full summary »
When Edith Howland's husband abandons her for a younger woman, leaving her with their alcoholic son and his senile uncle, she begins recording details of an imaginary, much more successful ... See full summary »
Hans W. Geissendörfer
Leopold von Verschuer
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 »
One night when seeking his estranged wife, Hoffmann goes to the youth center where she works. The police are there rounding up radicals who frequent the center - Hoffmann runs into the ... See full summary »
Hans Christian Blech
Katharina Blum is a young handsome German maid. She meets Ludwig, and they fall in love at once. They spend the night together. In the morning, the police bursts in her flat, looking for Ludwig : he is a terrorist. But he was no longer here. Katharina is arrested, humiliated, suspected to be a terrorist herself, dragged in the mud by the newspapers... A plea for democracy and individual rights.Written by
Katharina's car has two different license plates. See more »
The shots that killed Werner Tötges didn't hit him alone. They were aimed at Freedom of the Press, one of the most precious values of our young Democracy. And these shots - for us who stand here in grief and horror - they strike us. Just as they struck him. Who doesn't feel the wound? Who doesn't feel the sorrow above and beyond one's personal concerns? Who doesn't feel the breath of terror, the savage of anarchy, the violence which is undermining the foundations of our liberal-democratic order...
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The legal disclaimer reads as follows: 'Personen und Handlung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Aehnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der BILD-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Aehnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufaellig, sondern unvermeidlich.' (Characters and plot are purely fictitious. Similarities with journalistic practices of the newspaper "BILD" are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable.) This is a direct quote from the introduction to the original novel by Heinrich Böll. See more »
This film is based on the novel of the same name by the German author Heinrich Böll. The book is purported to be written by Böll as a result of an ongoing feud in the German media between Böll and the publisher of the German daily tabloid the Bild Zeitung, a publication known for its lurid and sensational reporting of the news. In his story, Böll attempts to show how damaging irresponsible journalism can be to the lives and reputations of innocent persons caught up in the tide of current events.
The story begins with Katherina Blum attending a party where she meets and is strongly attracted to a young man. She invites him to her apartment and they spend the night making love. The next morning, the young man has gone and the police are storming her door seeking to arrest the overnight guest as a terrorist. Instead, Katherina is arrested and taken to the police station for interrogation as his accomplice. The young terrorist has been killed and Katherina is unable to prove that she had no knowledge of his activities. A tabloid reporter becomes obsessed by the case hounds Katherina, mercilessly destroying her reputation and any semblance of a normal life. The emotional tension continues to build, finally reaching a violent climax.
This is a very powerful and well made film. Böll's message regarding sensational and irresponsible journalism is very clear. After suffering along with the innocent Katharina through the insult, pain and dishonor of her ordeal, I came away from the film with an altered point of view toward tabloid journalism and commercial news reporting in general. In a world where reporters are being found guilty of manufacturing news stories, media agencies are providing dramatic reenactments of sensational news events, and names like O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky are used as teasers to improve the ratings of news programs, this film is a must see.
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