Amour Fou (2014)

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Original title Amour Fou
Country of production Austria , Germany , Luxembourg
original language German
Publishing year 2014
length 96 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
JMK 12
Director Jessica Hausner
script Jessica Hausner
production Martin Gschlacht ,
Antonin Svoboda ,
Bruno Wagner,
Bady Minck ,
Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu
camera Martin Gschlacht
cut Karina Ressler

Amour Fou is a 2014 Austrian film directed by Jessica Hausner . Christian Friedel and Birte Schnöink play the leading roles . The focus is on the relationship between Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel , who want to die together by suicide .

The film was shown at the Cannes International Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and at numerous other film festivals. The cinema release in Austria was on November 6, 2014, in Germany on January 15, 2015.


The poet Heinrich von Kleist suffers from this Prussia of 1811. Life is frozen in conventions that do not allow any feelings. We only talk about them. Prussia is bankrupt and forced to reform: introduction of the tax for everyone, which implies the abolition of serfdom. The upper class of society shows no understanding and takes note of innovations with astonishment. Kleist suffers from this life. He wants to die, but not alone. His fiction is that dying together with a loved one is the expression of the highest love. His cousin Maria von Kleist resolutely rejects his request, without, however, questioning her affection for Kleist.

When Kleist is a guest at an evening party of the land rent master Louis Vogel, who is busy with the nationwide registration of taxpayers, he meets his wife Henriette there. The Mozart song performed there, based on the Goethe poem Das Veilchen, reflects her own fate. Henriette is enthusiastic about Kleist's novella The Marquise von O. , because it depicts the unimaginable in the closely-knit Biedermeier world of married women, which one secretly longs for. Kleist also reveals himself to her after analyzing her emotional state ("It seems to me that you are lonely too and have no boyfriend. Nothing is really important to you. You love nothing and nobody loves you.") By saying that he does not live with her but wanting to die with her. Henriette is surprised and does not want to know anything about his proposal. She has her daughter Pauline and a husband.

But when she was diagnosed with an incurable abdominal ulcer after fainting spells and cramps and she happened to hear the doctor's diagnosis that she probably didn't have long to live, she was ready to die together with Kleist. This, however, is piqued because she does not want to die out of love for him and his aversion to life, but out of fear of death. So he distances himself from the common death with Henriette.

But his hope in Marie gets an objective damper: Marie has meanwhile married in Paris. Then Henriette after all. Henriette writes a farewell letter to her husband and says goodbye to her daughter. Then Kleist and Henriette drive to an inn in the country. But there, surprisingly, Adam Müller , a mutual acquaintance, appears. He misjudges the situation. He says he surprised the two of them in a secret love affair. His allusions offend Kleist, who then abandons Henriette and Adam Müller and leaves.

After Marie's return from Paris, Kleist tries again to convince the young woman to die together. But this time she gives him a stern rebuff. The world is bad, but you have to face it, including him. Everyone has to die for himself alone. So, after a long time, he wrote a letter to Henriette again, thus resuming the common death plan. Henriette is still open to this. She feels honored by Kleist's courtship and confesses that she often thinks of him.

Louis Vogel, who, according to the convention at the time, had a distant, but already respecting Henriette, kind-hearted, almost loving relationship with his wife and daughter, brings with him a hope of a cure for Henriette's supposed suffering from Paris. But Kleist is also pushing. Louis Vogel notices this. He senses that something could be between the two. But Henriette confesses that she could not live with Kleist. That would be too selfish and self-centered. Louis tolerantly gives her a free hand to continue doing what she does. He would accept this relationship. But Henriette is at odds. There is the impossible, this extraordinary relationship with the highly revered poet Kleist, but there is also the attitude of her husband, the relationship with her daughter, the prospect of healing. But in fact the suicide campaign organized by Kleist begins. Kleist picks up Henriette from home. Louis advises her to take this excursion, which would be good for her health. Henriette has not prepared for a final farewell. In contrast to the first attempt, she does not wear black, but is dressed in yellow. The night in a shabby dump is disgusting. Kleist cannot reach them with his worship. You are empty. It's like an execution. Suddenly she objects to the common death. When she turns to Kleist, he hastily shoots her. After two unsuccessful attempts, Kleist succeeds in killing himself with another pistol.

Louis Vogel is busy looking for a suicide note from his wife. He finds it hidden in their things. After going to the suicide site, he sees the corpses of his wife and von Kleist lying next to each other. He wonders whether it was love that bound these two people. Then he also has to find out that his wife's autopsy showed that she was not organically ill at all. No tumor was found. Louis continues his life apparently unmoved, hears the lamentation about the new tax among his friends. The daughter Pauline plays and sings the apparently death-longing Beethoven song Wo die Berge so blau (see To the distant beloved ; poet Aloys (Isidor) Jeitteles ), which her mother sang too. Only she sings another stanza and in it there is no longer a longing for death, but a longing for love get-together.

Production notes

The film was produced by Coop99 in collaboration with Essential Filmproduktion and Amour Fou Filmproduktion . A great deal of effort was put into the costume and production design in order to avoid the clichés of comparable genre films. Hausner pursued a clear aesthetic with a focus on yellow and red colors. The inspiration were paintings by the painter Johannes Vermeer . The shooting took place between February and October 2013 in Luxembourg , Austria and Germany .



Claudia Lenssen from epd Film wrote that Jessica Hausner reinterpreted the prehistory of the double suicide and also dissected its myth, and praised the "technically excellent acting ensemble", which unfolds "in many silent passages the mysterious surface quality of historical portraits". The parabolic character of the film is underlined by “the minimalist, almost statuary calm” of the “visual narrative forms”. The film service wrote that the historical drama, frozen in "flawless but aseptic images", was "representationally inconsistent" and "lacked any form of liveliness". In its “artificial artistic language”, the film “does not do justice to either the epoch or its characters”. Ulf Lepelmeier in the Filmstarts criticism said that the film reflected the social narrowness of the early 19th century in its formal severity and at the same time had an unexpectedly amusing undertone through dry dialog humor. Hannah Pilarczyk wrote in Spiegel Amour Fou show Heinrich von Kleist as a brilliant head who had overcome the intellectual limitations of his time - only to kill himself afterwards. “A tragic death? Certainly. But also a stupid one. ”Nino Klingler said that Hausner Kleist's poetics of inverting established world views were ultimately turned against himself. The film keeps in constant contact with Kleist's world of thought in order to expose it from within. The film is a shrewd (definitely feminist) objection that bluntly anachronistically interferes in past men's affairs and creates order where there was previously disorder.


The film was awarded at the Austrian Film Prize 2015 in the categories Best Screenplay ( Jessica Hausner ) and Best Editing ( Karina Ressler ). He was also nominated in the categories of Best Feature Film , Best Director , Best Female Actress ( Birte Schnöink ), Best Costume Design ( Tanja Hausner ) and Best Production Design ( Katharina Wöppermann ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of release for Amour Fou . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , December 2014 (PDF; test number: 148 888 K).
  2. Age rating for Amour Fou . Youth Media Commission .
  3. 2014 Official Selection . In: Cannes . Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  4. Release Info. Internet Movie Database , accessed January 28, 2015 .
  5. Amour Fou . In: . Austrian Film Commission . Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  6. Karin Schiefer: Jessica Hausner shoots Amour Fou : Katharina Wöppermann (set design) and Tanja Hausner (costume) in conversation . In: . Austrian Film Commission . April 2013. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
  7. Amour Fou . In: . Austrian Film Institute . Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  8. Amour Fou. epd film , 12/2014, accessed on April 23, 2015 .
  9. Amour Fou (2014). film-dienst , 1/2015, accessed on January 28, 2015 .
  10. Ulf Lepelmeier: Amour Fou see page Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  11. ^ Hannah Pilarczyk: tragic comedy about Heinrich von Kleist: The emo of the Weimar classic . In: Spiegel Online . January 14, 2015 ( [accessed July 5, 2019]).
  12. Amour Fou | Criticism. Retrieved July 5, 2019 .
  13. Austrian Film Prize 2015 . Accessed January 29, 2015.
  14. Nominations for the Austrian Film Prize 2015. Austrian Film Academy , accessed on January 28, 2015 .