In modern-day Berlin (1987), Frau Kutowski goes insane, believing herself to be the (real-life) notorious Anita Berber, a nude art dancer/drug addict/scandalous figure of post-WWI Berlin. (Berber died of tuberculosis in 1928, having achieved significant success and recognition throughout the dance world.) Frau Kutowski is placed in a mental hospital, where in her own mind she acts out Berber’s final days, including in her fantasies the hospital’s staff and patients, to represent Anita’s friends and associates. She relives the adventures, scandals, triumphs, trials and tribulations of Anita Berber, and finally merges her own real existence with that of her imagination, until fantasy actually becomes reality. The film makes use of both color (Expressionist style) and black & white (documentary style) to draw the line between fantasy and reality, respectively. —IMDb
Rosa von Praunheim, born November 25, 1942, in Riga, during the German occupation under his real name Holger Radtke, grew up with his adoptive parents in East Berlin under the name Holger Bernhard Bruno Mischwitzky. After the escape to West Germany in 1953, the family lived at first in the Rhineland and eventually settled in Frankfurt am Main. In Frankfurt, von Praunheim attended a classical language high school but left already after finishing secondary school level. He started to study painting at Offenbach’s Werkkunstschule (today: Hochschule für Gestaltung – HfG). One year later, he transferred to Berlin’s Hochschule für Bildende Künste but did not graduate any of his studies. At this time, during the 1960s, he assumed his stage name Rosa von Praunheim, as reminiscence to his Frankfurt quarter Praunheim and to the “Rosa Winkel” (pink triangle) – the symbol, homosexuals had to wear in the concentration camps during the Third Reich.
In 1967, Rosa von Praunheim made his movie… read more