The Queen

(Werner Schroeter, Germany, 2000)


Werner Schroeter's The Queen is a gift. A sequel of sorts to Love's Debris (1997), it profiles the German actress Marianne Hoppe.

As always, Schroeter gives us a fascinating insight into several creative processes: the star, her friends and co-performers, her directors. And he restages samples of her work with the same freedom of mise en scène he brought to the operatic pieces in Love's Debris.

At the centre of the film is an absence which infuriated some audience members: Hoppe's association with a director who was a loyal Nazi. Several times we hear, like an incantation, these words: "You represented for him humanity."

This phrase marks what is unspeakable in the film while it still tries to find a compassionate response to what Hoppe and others drifted with in that period.

© Adrian Martin May 2001

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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