by Kai Wessel

The Charisma of Marlene Dietrich. The heart of Edith Piaf. The soul of post-war Germany: "The Knef."

Broadway star, songstress, screen diva, international icon and bestselling author - Hildegard Knef was many things. But more than anything else, she was a fighter who often fell, but never stayed down.Berlin, 1943. The collapse of Nazi Germany looms, but young HILDE marches through the rubble of Berlin with only one thought in her head: she wants to become a star. With luck, looks, the right men and overwhelming self-confidence, she makes her way in the film world, both during and after the war, swapping her Nazi lover for a young Jewish husband. Hollywood beckons, but Hilde is no Marlene. Underemployed and frustrated she longs for Germany. The divided country welcomes her back but a short nude scene in "The Sinner" (1950) provokes a national scandal, making her an outcast in her own country. Internationally, she becomes what she's always wanted to be: a star, on the big screen, on Broadway, in America and Europe. The years go by in a whirl of successes and failures, of ups and downs. Yet even as her film career wanes she picks herself up and embarks on a new journey...

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 136 minutes
Original title
directed by
Kai Wessel
produced by
Egoli Tossel Film AG in co-production with MMC Independent GmbH
  • Heike Makatsch (LOVE ACTUALLY)
  • Monica Bleibtreu
  • Johanna Gastdorf
  • Christian Berkel (ELLE, DOWNFALL)
  • Michael Gwisdek (GOODBYE, LENIN!)
  • Henry Hübchen (GO FOR ZUCKER!)
  • Hanns Zischler (MUNICH)

Press Quotes

"An outstanding biopic with a captivating, standout performance by German singer-actress Heike Makatsch."
The Hollywood Reporter

Selected Festivals & Awards

59th Berlin International Film Festival
Shanghai International Film Festival