The Actress

Original title: (Die Schauspielerin)
GDR, 1988, 86 min, color
In German; English subtitles

Maria (Corinna Harfouch), a rising theater star in Nazi Germany, is in love with Mark (André Hennicke), a Jewish actor. She accepts her dream job at a theater in Munich, but Mark is banned from performing—except at the Jewish Kulturbund Theatre in Berlin. Maria discovers she is unable to live without Mark, but the Nazi Nuremberg Laws strictly forbid their relationship. So that they can be together, Maria decides to fake her own suicide and assume a Jewish identity.


Corinna Harfouch won the Best Actress Award at the 1988 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for her performance in the role of Maria. 


Martin Brandt (Judgment at NurembergMorituri), a former member of the Jewish Theater, appears in his final film role in The Actress. The DVD also includes the documentary Traces (1989, dir. Eduard Schreiber) featuring this unforgettable actor.


Based on the novel An Arrangement with Death by Hedda Zinner.


Special features:
  • New digitally restored version
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Bio & Filmographies
  • Traces, GDR, 1989, dir. Eduard Schreiber, 21 min.
  • “Cracks in the Berlin Wall: Identity, Remembrance, and the Jewish Kulturbund Theatre,” by Rebecca Rovit, University of Kansas
  • “The Art of Corinna Harfouch: A Multifaceted Performance,” by Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst

The Actress

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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