The Fiancée

Original title: (Die Verlobte)
GDR, 1980, 106 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles

Germany, 1934: Hella Lindau and her fiancé Hermann Reimers are members of an anti-Nazi resistance group. When they are betrayed, Hella takes the blame and is sentenced to ten years in prison for high treason. Though Hermann is not allowed to marry her, his letters and visits keep her hope alive; after she spends years in solitary confinement, he also manages to get permission for her to live and work with other prisoners. Then, nine-and-a-half years into her sentence, the Gestapo wants to interrogate Hella again; when she is brought in for questioning, she sees that Hermann has been arrested…


Two volumes of a planned autobiographical trilogy by Eva Lippold, German author and resistance fighter, inspired this internationally-acclaimed film. With its nuanced sense of character and exploration of the psychological experience of extreme duress, the directors reframed East Germany’s antifascist film genre.

Special features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • The Fiancée: Antifascist Resistance Film and Love Story,” by media scholar Lutz Haucke  
  • “Reisch, Rücker and The Fiancée,” by filmmaker Jörg Foth
  • Jutta Wachowiak: On Making the Film (2013, dir. Gunther Scholz, 62 min., color)
  • “Prisoner 47 and Author Eva Lippold,” by historians Gabriele Hackl and Birgit Sack
  • “The Women in Waldheim Prison,” by historian Gabriele Hackl
  • “Capturing the Essence: Still Photographer Waltraut Pathenheimer,” by cinematographer and photographer Dieter Chill and cultural history and media scholar Anna Luise Kiss

The Fiancée

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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