Direction: Frauke Finsterwalder
with Sandra Hüller, Susanne Wolff, Georg Friedrich
Germany, Switzerland, Austria 2023, 132', German, English, French with english subtitles, FSK 12
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Sisi & I
OT: Sisi & Ich
Irma Countess von Sztáray does not have it easy. Shortly before her application to become lady-in-waiting to Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary known as “Sisi”, Irma gets a bloody nose from her strict mother in all the excitement. Then, at court, she is put on display like a prize cow and interrogated. At Sisi’s summer residence on Corfu, Irma first has to prove her athleticism in sadistic exercises and is then put on a diet of cocaine extracts before she finally meets the moody and erratic empress in person. In between laxative teas and watery soups, hikes and beauty treatments, the two very different women quickly become close – though only as close as Sisi will allow, naturally. But every summer has an end, and when they return to Vienna, the lives of Sisi and Irma change drastically.
In her wild reinterpretation of the oft-told “Sisi” myth, Frauke Finsterwalder unleashes two acting forces of nature – Susanne Wolff and Sandra Hüller – on each other and allows them to upstage each other. With stunning costumes by Tanja Hausner and set to a soundtrack by Nico, Portishead and Le Tigre, the film transports us to a world dominated by women to which, apart from the queer maids, only the gay Archduke Viktor has access. (Berlinale)
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