Archive of films My Sister Maria / Meine Schwester Maria

Germany / Austria / Switzerland
2002, 90 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2003

A portrait of the world famous star of the fifties, Austrian actress Maria Schell, filmed by her brother with exceptional insight into the face of her many contradictions.


The Austrian actress Maria Schell (b. 1926), a fragile blonde with a delicate face and crystalline eyes, was in her heyday during the 1950s. She appeared in over seventy European and American films and was admired by the likes of Gary Cooper, Mastroianni, Brynner and Jürgens. Crowds of people would wait on the platform just to catch a glimpse of her face at the window as her train passed by, but they also craved reports about her divorces, her drug-addict son, Maria’s inability to cope with aging, her financial problems and nervous breakdowns…. Maximilian Schell created a portrait of his much admired sister but avoided the usual form of biographical documentary. He wove his image of her from repeated visits to her sickbed in the Schell family’s old house high up in the mountains, from lengthy conversations, shared reminiscences, and from attempts to put into words that which, for various reasons, had remained unuttered. Maria flees from her oppressive existence into the world of film and, displaying great sensitivity, her brother tries to bring her back and accept everything she has experienced. His distinctive film portrait gently breaks down illusion, and prompts reflection on the greatness and tragedy, of life.

About the director

Maximilian Schell (b. 1930, Vienna) grew up in Switzerland where the whole family emigrated after the occupation of Austria by the Nazis. His acting career began in 1954 and continues to this day; he has received many important awards over the decades, and was nominated for an Oscar six times. He soon began to show ambitions as a director, and the money he earned from his numerous film roles was invested in demanding projects. Schell has appeared in films by Dassin, Attenborough, Lumet, Peckinpah, Passer; films he directed include First Love (1970), The Pedestrian (1974), End of the Game (1975, an adaptation of Durrenmat’s play The Judge and His Executioner), Tales from the Vienna Woods (1979), and finally the heavy-duty psychological documentary Marlene (1983) about the life of Marlene Dietrich. Schell is also a fine stage actor and concert pianist.


epo-film Productions GmbH
Edelsinnstr. 58, 1120, Vienna
Tel: +43 1 812 37 18
Fax: +43 1 813 87 73

Kirch Media
Robert Bürklerstr. 2, 857 37, Ismaning
Tel: +49 899 9560

Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion
Zentralstrasse 156, CH - 8003, Zürich
Tel: +41 1 456 3020
Fax: +41 1 456 3025

MFG film
Englschalkingerstr. 142, D - 81952, Mratín

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Maximilian Schell
Screenplay: Maximilian Schell, Gero von Böhm
Dir. of Photography: Piotr Jaxa
Music: Tony Stricker
Editor: Charlotte Müllner
Producer: Maximilian Schell, Dieter Pochlatko, Margit Chuchra, Werner Schweizer
Production: epo-film Productions GmbH, koprodukce / co-production: MFG Film, Dschoint Ventschr
Cast: Maria Schell
Contact: epo-film Productions GmbH, Kirch Media, Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, MFG film


Francine Brücher

Anne Laurent - Delage

Film Institution Rep.


© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide