Hanna Schygulla

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Hanna Schygulla
Schygulla 01.jpg
Hanna Schygulla in 1982
Born (1943-12-25) 25 December 1943 (age 75)
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
Alex Brendemuhl and Hanna Schygulla at the press conference of The Prayer at Berlinale 2018 Alex Brendemuhl and Hanna Schygulla - The Prayer - Press Conference.jpg
Àlex Brendemühl and Hanna Schygulla at the press conference of The Prayer at Berlinale 2018

Hanna Schygulla (born 25 December 1943) is a German actress and chanson singer. Long associated with the theater and film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, for whom she first worked in 1965, she is generally considered the most prominent German actress of 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 .

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specializing in chansons is known as a "chanteur" (male) or "chanteuse" (female); a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder German film director, 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.


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, indicating a mixed heritage and/or the process of teutonisation of Slavs as was very common in Silesia in the 19th century. 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.

Chorzów Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Chorzów(listen) is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Chorzów is one of the central districts of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - a metropolis with a population of 2 million. It is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Rawa River.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish-language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Silesian language West Slavic ethnolect

Silesian or Upper Silesian is a West Slavic lect of the Lechitic group, spoken in Upper Silesia and partly in Czech Silesia. Its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by Central German due to the existence of numerous Silesian German speakers in the area prior to World War II and after.

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]

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

Effi Briest is a 1974 film directed 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 dennoch das herrschende System in ihrem Kopf akzeptieren durch ihre Taten und es somit festigen und durchaus bestätigen. In English this is translated to mean: 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.

Theodor Fontane German novelist and poet

Theodor Fontane was a German novelist and poet, regarded by many as the most important 19th-century German-language realist author.

<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 and Veronika Voss.

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

Bruno Ganz Swiss actor

Bruno Ganz was a Swiss actor whose career in German-language film and television productions lasted for more than fifty years. He was known for his collaborations with the directors Werner Herzog, Éric Rohmer, Francis Ford Coppola, and Wim Wenders, earning widespread recognition with his roles as Jonathan Zimmerman in The American Friend (1977), Jonathan Harker in Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) and Damiel the Angel in Wings of Desire (1987).

Volker Schlöndorff German film director, screenwriter and film producer

Volker Schlöndorff is a German filmmaker who has worked in Germany, France and the United States. He was a prominent member of the New German Cinema of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which also included Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Margarethe von Trotta and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

<i>Die Fälschung</i> 1981 film by Volker Schlöndorff

Die Fälschung is an anti-war film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and internationally released in 1981. An international co-production, it was an adaptation of Nicolas Born's novel of the same name, which had appeared in 1979. The film follows a German journalist sent to Beirut to report on the Lebanese Civil War, which had begun in 1975.

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

Juliane Lorenz is a German film editor best known for her work with and relationship to director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Lorenz is the head of the Fassbinder Foundation, an organization that seeks to preserve and promote the filmmaker's legacy. She has authored or edited several books on the director's life and work, and has directed a documentary on the same subject.

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

Béla Tarr Hungarian film director

Béla Tarr is a Hungarian filmmaker His body of work consists mainly of art films with philosophical themes and long takes.

<i>Werckmeister Harmonies</i> 2000 film by Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky

Werckmeister Harmonies is a 2000 Hungarian drama mystery film directed by Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, based on the 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai. Shot in black-and-white and composed of thirty-nine languidly paced shots, the film shows János and his older friend György during the communist Hungarian era. It also shows their journey among helpless citizens as a dark circus comes to town casting an eclipse over their lives.

Vanessa Beecroft Italian painter

Vanessa Beecroft is an Italian contemporary performance artist. She works in the United States. Many of her works have made use of professional models, sometimes in large numbers and sometimes naked or nearly so, to stage tableaux vivants.

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. In 2011 she acted in the Alexander Sokurov film Faust . Schygulla lived in Paris from 1981 to 2014, when she left for Berlin.

In 2018 she appeared in the French drama film The Prayer by Cédric Kahn. It was screened in the main competition section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.


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  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. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/mar/27/rainer-werner-fassbinder-bfi-season-hanna-schygulla-interview
  6. "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2015.