Hanna Schygulla

Last updated
Hanna Schygulla
Schygulla 01.jpg
Hanna Schygulla in 1982
Born (1943-12-25) 25 December 1943 (age 76)
Königshütte, Silesia
(now Chorzów, Poland)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1968–present
With Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1980 Rainer Werner Fassbinder & Hanna Schygulla 03.jpg
With Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1980
Hanna Schygulla in 2013 Hanna Schygulla Buchmesse.JPG
Hanna Schygulla in 2013

Hanna Schygulla (German: [ˈha.na ʃyˈɡʊ.la] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); born 25 December 1943) is a German actress and chanson singer. Associated with the theater and film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, for whom she first worked in 1965, she active in the New German Cinema. She won the 1979 Berlin Silver Bear for Best Actress for Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun , and the 1983 Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the Marco Ferreri film The Story of Piera .


Life and career

Schygulla was born in Königshütte (now Chorzów, Poland) to German parents Antonie (née Mzyk) and Joseph Schygulla. [1] Both the names Schygulla (also spelled Szyguła) and Mzyk are of Polish/Silesian origin. Her father, a timber merchant by profession, was drafted as an infantryman in the German Army and was captured by American forces in Italy, subsequently being held as a prisoner of war until 1948. In 1945, Schygulla and her mother arrived as refugees in Munich, following the expulsion of the majority German-speaking population of Königshütte by Communist Poland. [1] Much later, in the 1960s, Schygulla studied Romance languages and German studies, while taking acting lessons in Munich during her spare time.

Acting eventually became her focus, and she became particularly known for her film work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. During the making of Effi Briest (1974), an adaptation of a German novel by Theodor Fontane, Fassbinder and Schygulla fell out over divergent interpretations of the character. [2] Another issue for Schygulla was low pay, and she led a revolt against Fassbinder during the making of Effi Briest, shot in September 1972 some time before its commercial release. His response was typically blunt: "I can't stand the sight of your face any more. You bust my balls". [3] They did not work together again for several years until The Marriage of Maria Braun in 1978. The film was entered into the 29th Berlin International Film Festival, where she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance. [4] In 1980 she acted in Fassbinder's miniseries adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz . [5]

Schygulla starred alongside Bruno Ganz in Volker Schlöndorff's Circle of Deceit (1981), and with Isabelle Huppert in Jean-Luc Godard's Passion (1982). She was a member of the jury at the 15th Moscow International Film Festival in 1987. [6]

In the 1990s, she became a chanson singer. In Juliane Lorenz's documentary film Life, Love and Celluloid (1998), on Fassbinder and related topics, Schygulla performs several songs.

Schygulla appeared in the Béla Tarr film Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), and in VB51 (2002), a performance by the artist Vanessa Beecroft. Five years later, she appeared in the film The Edge of Heaven , directed by Fatih Akın.[ citation needed ]

In 2007, she received the Honorary Award from the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and in 2010 she received the Honorary Golden Bear from the Berlin Film Festival. She acted in the Alexander Sokurov film Faust (2011) and in the French drama film The Prayer (2018) by Cédric Kahn. It was screened in the main competition section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

Schygulla lived in Paris from 1981 to 2014, when she left for Berlin.


Related Research Articles

Rainer Werner Fassbinder German filmmaker, screenwriter and actor

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, sometimes credited as R. W. Fassbinder, was a West German filmmaker, actor, playwright, theatre director, composer, cinematographer, editor, and essayist. He is widely regarded as a prominent figure and catalyst of the New German Cinema movement.

<i>Effi Briest</i> novel written by Theodor Fontane

Effi Briest is a realist novel by Theodor Fontane. Published in book form in 1895, Effi Briest marks both a watershed and a climax in the poetic realism of literature. It can be thematically compared to other novels on 19th century marriage from a female perspective, such as Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, which are also adultery tragedies.

Julia Jentsch German actress

Julia Jentsch is a German actress. She has received awards including the Silver Bear, European Film Award, and Lola. She is best known for Sophie Scholl – The Final Days, The Edukators and I Served the King of England.

<i>The Marriage of Maria Braun</i> 1979 film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

The Marriage of Maria Braun is a 1978 West German film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film stars Hanna Schygulla as Maria, whose marriage to the soldier Hermann remains unfulfilled due to World War II and his post-war imprisonment. Maria adapts to the realities of post-war Germany and becomes the wealthy mistress of an industrialist, all the while staying true to her love for Hermann. The film was one of the more successful works of Fassbinder and shaped the image of the New German Cinema in foreign countries. The film is the first installment of Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy, followed by Lola (1981) and Veronika Voss (1982).

Gottfried John German actor and voice actor

Gottfried John was a German stage, screen, and voice actor. A long-time collaborator of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, John appeared in many of the filmmaker's projects between 1975 and his death in 1982, including Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven, Despair, The Marriage of Maria Braun, and Berlin Alexanderplatz. His distinctive, gaunt appearance saw him he frequently cast as villains, and he is best known to audiences for his role as the corrupt General Arkady Ourumov in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, and for his comedic turn as Julius Caesar in Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar, the latter for which he won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Barbara Sukowa German actress and singer

Barbara Sukowa is a German theatre and film actress. She is known for her work with directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta. She won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the 1986 film Rosa Luxemburg. Her other film appearances include Lola (1981), Europa (1990), M. Butterfly (1993), and Hannah Arendt (2012). She starred as Katarina Jones in the television series 12 Monkeys (2015–18).

Angelica Domröse German actress

Angelica Domröse is a German actress, who became famous in the role of Paula in Heiner Carow's film The Legend of Paul and Paula. Her Mediterranean appearance is the result of her biological father being a prisoner of war from France.

Eva Mattes German-Austrian actress

Eva Mattes is an Austrian-German actress.

Volker Spengler was a German stage and film actor. Spengler was best known to international audiences as a member of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's acting ensemble, including his role as the transsexual Erwin/Elvira of Fassbinder's In a Year of 13 Moons (1978). Spengler appeared in about 40 film and television productions between 1966 and 2004, also working with other directors such as Christoph Schlingensief and Volker Schlöndorff. On stage, he performed at Berlin's Volksbühne and with the Berliner Ensemble.

Hark Bohm is a German actor, screenwriter, film director, playwright and former professor for cinema studies. He was born in Hamburg-Othmarschen and grew up on the island Amrum. His younger brother was the actor Marquard Bohm, who starred in some of his early films. He is most notable for his long-time collaboration with Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Ruth Leuwerik German actress

Ruth Leuwerik was a German film actress, one of the most popular stars of German film during the 1950s. She appeared in 34 films between 1950 and 1977. Leuwerik is probably best known for her portrayal of Maria von Trapp in the films The Trapp Family and The Trapp Family in America.

<i>Effi Briest</i> (1974 film) 1974 film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Effi Briest is a 1974 film directed and narrated by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, adapted from German author Theodor Fontane's 1894 novel of the same name. The film's full title that was originally used in West Germany was Fontane Effi Briest oder Viele, die eine Ahnung haben von ihren Möglichkeiten und Bedürfnissen und trotzdem das herrschende System in ihrem Kopf akzeptieren durch ihre Taten und es somit festigen und durchaus bestätigen. In English, this can be translated as: Fontane Effi Briest or Many people who are aware of their own capabilities and needs just acquiesce to the prevailing system in their thoughts and deeds, thereby confirming and reinforcing it.

<i>Rio das Mortes</i> (film) 1971 film

Rio das Mortes is a 1971 color film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. One of the early Fassbinder films it stars Hanna Schygulla as Hanna, Michael König as Michael/Mike and Günther Kaufmann as Gunther.

Harry Baer is a German actor, producer and author, best known for his work with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He has also been credited as Harry Bär.

Elisabeth Trissenaar Austrian actress

Elisabeth Trissenaar is an Austrian actress, who lives in Berlin.

Xaver Schwarzenberger is an Austrian cinematographer and film director. He has worked over 100 films since 1970. His 1983 film Der stille Ozean was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for an outstanding single achievement.

Effi Briest is an 1894 German novel by Theodor Fontane

Effi Briest is a 1971 East German film directed by Wolfgang Luderer.

Roger Fritz is a German actor, director, producer and photographer, perhaps best known for Cross of Iron, and his work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder in Querelle, Lili Marleen and Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Günter Lamprecht German actor

Günter Lamprecht is a German actor, known for his leading role in the Fassbinder miniseries Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and as a ship captain in the epic war film Das Boot (1981).


  1. 1 2 H.W. Wilson Company (1984). Current Biography Yearbook. p. 373.
  2. Rosalind Hodgkiss "The bitter tears of Fassbinder's women", The Guardian, 8 January 1999; retrieved 22 February 2008.
  3. Derek Malcolm "Rainer Werner Fassbinder: The Marriage of Maria Braun", The Guardian, 28 January 1999; retrieved 2 March 2009.
  4. "Berlinale 1978: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. Gilbey, Ryan (March 27, 2017). "The muse and the monster: Fassbinder's favourite star on surviving his abuse" via www.theguardian.com.
  6. "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2015.