Honey women

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Original title Honey women
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 2017
length 270 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Ben Verbong
script Christoph Silber
Natalie Scharf
music Dominik Giesriegl
Johannes Brandt
camera Mathias Neumann
cut Ronny Mattas

Honigfrauen is a three-part German television film by Dutch director Ben Verbong from 2017.


Part 1 - Vacation in Paradise

Summer 1986. The two Erfurt sisters Catrin and Maja Streesemann decide to hitchhike abroad without their parents for the first time. The destination is Lake Balaton in Hungary . While the young women are already very excited, their mother has concerns because she has learned that Catrin's biological father Erik Waller, who has lived in the west since the Wall was built 25 years ago , is also on the way to Lake Balaton and is in contact with his daughter there want to record.

Once at the campsite, the sisters quickly make contact. Although Catrin befriends Rudi Hartwig from Mühlhausen , next to her tent , she and Maja are convinced of the advantages of his luxury hotel by hotel manager Tamás, the manager of the nearby Balaton residence . Women from the GDR are often called honey women here because they are so "sweet" and "natural". Tamás also enjoys the carefree manner of the sisters and invites them to the hotel as guests during the day. In a room full of things left behind by hotel guests, they can choose shoes and clothing and feel like they are in paradise. But Maja senses that Tamás is surrounded by a secret; and she finds out that he is helping as a smuggler to bring people to the West. Little does Catrin suspect that Rudi, of all people, has the task of having this smuggling ring "blown up".

Part 2 - Treason in Paradise

Mother Kirsten wants to prevent Catrin's father Erik from making contact with his daughter while on vacation in Hungary. Without further ado, she persuades her husband Karl to go after the daughters. But she withholds the real reason and pretends that Catrin has become ill. Catrin is confused when she suddenly meets her parents on the campsite. Since Maja has spent the night with Tamás in the Hotel Balatonresidenz , Catrin rushes into town to warn her sister about the unexpected visit and thus learns the secret of Tamás' illegal activities. In her naivete, she tells Rudi, who immediately forwards a deal that has just been planned to his middleman. As a result, the attempt to escape fails and the fugitive even dies. Catrin is appalled and fears consequences for Maja as confidante, which Rudi's precaution does not mean. For him, Maja is still the most important contact person to Tamás, who has meanwhile even proposed to her. Under the pretext of wanting to protect the family, Rudi Maja's father trusts him and tells him about his activities as an unofficial employee . Even if Karl is initially frightened and snubbed, he lets Rudi persuade him to fulfill his civic duties. He keeps Rudi's secret and tries to influence his family in a similar way.

Kirsten secretly meets Erik at the campsite to make it clear to him that he should completely disappear from her life. In this way she can prevent a meeting with Catrin, who until now has not even known that Karl Streesemann is not her biological father. The family has to find out from Maja that she is determined to marry Tamás and will not come back to the GDR with them.

Part 3 - Wedding in Paradise

The Streesemann family is on their way to Hungary for Maja's wedding. Catrin has been with Rudi since her holiday at Lake Balaton, who is therefore also there. On the way, Catrin had doubts about Rudi's honesty, but he was able to clear them up successfully for the time being. When Catrin arrives at the Hotel Balatonresidenz , there is a big surprise because her mother has also invited Erik. Against Kirsten's will, this Catrin later reveals that he is her father.

In addition, Tamás asks her for a big favor. A GDR citizen who was supposed to be smuggled out of the country was arrested surprisingly. His little daughter stayed behind in Hungary and now has to be brought across the border to her mother in Austria, with Catrin to help. Due to wiretapped phone calls, Rudi also knows about it, but has no idea that his girlfriend wants to take the child to the border. When he learns about this, he informs Tamás, who has Catrin intercepted before the border and can thus save her from falling into a trap. Now it becomes clear to everyone that Rudi is an IM of the Stasi and that Karl Streesemann has also abused for his purposes. Since Rudi honestly loves Catrin, he promises to make amends to get a passport from Germany so that Erik can take the child across the border with him. So that this goes smoothly, Maja, also with a false passport, travels as the mother of the child. Back in Hungary she spent a few more carefree days with her family at Lake Balaton. Catrin is not sure whether she will part with Rudi, who in tears confesses that he cannot imagine a life without her.


The shooting took place from July 26th to October 25th, 2016 in Hungary .



"Why the trio conceived the clear story of honey women as a three-parter remains a mystery," said Tilmann P. Gangloff from the Frankfurter Rundschau . “A considerable part of the 270 minutes is spent on the same irrelevant settings of the lake and swimming pool, not to mention the many redundancies; each of the three films could easily have been told in half the time ”.

Viktoria Degner from the Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine found that the multi-part series was “overloaded in many places”: “The viewer cannot fully engage in this great holiday adventure, which is embellished with quick-witted dialogues and a believable backdrop. The reason for this is simple: the director wanted too much - sun, summer and love on the beach of Lake Balaton on the one hand, wrapped in historically highly relevant material on the other ”.

"A good piece of summer comedy, a little romance, a good pinch of time sense capsule, a lot of historical drama and also a generous pinch of Stasi agent thriller: honey women is an interesting mix of genres," said Sidney Schering from Oddsmeter.de . “If part one is still the most summery, smooth-running, the second part overturns developments before the third film is the exciting, dramatic climax. Until the end, the holiday feeling returns reliably for a few moments - for example due to the playful 80s production design or the soundtrack packed with chart toppers. Above all, Gröschel and Gerhardt, as quick-witted, charming sister duo, maintain the entertaining atmosphere - without ever playing so lightly that they would undermine the drama. "

Michael Hanfeld of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sums it up: “The only seemingly harmless three-part honey women is a cleverly stocked sham package, the contents of which are gradually revealed. What seems harmless at the beginning develops into a story that tells of recent German history in an unusually subtle tone. There are comedic elements, it is about family ties, love and betrayal, escape and oppression. There is no shortage of drama that doesn't seem artificial, the scenery is fanatically designed with great attention to detail [...] The characters, on the other hand, are designed to be sufficiently differentiated to challenge the actors ”.

Audience ratings

date episode spectator
Range Market share
23 Apr 2017 Vacation in paradise 5.43 million 14.6%
Apr 30, 2017 Treason in Paradise 4.21 million 13.6%
0May 7, 2017 Wedding in paradise 4.55 million 12.8%

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Honey Women (Part 1) . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Release certificate for The Honey Women (Part 2) . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  3. Release certificate for The Honey Women (Part 3) . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  4. honey women at crew united
  5. ^ Tilmann P. Gangloff: Spy in swimming trunks. In: Frankfurter Rundschau . Retrieved April 24, 2017 .
  6. Viktoria Degner: TV review of the ZDF three-part series "Honigfrauen": applied a bit thick. In: Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine . Retrieved April 24, 2017 .
  7. Sidney Schering: The Critics: "Honey Women". In : quotemeter.de . Retrieved April 24, 2017 .
  8. Michael Hanfeld: The summer of her life. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . Retrieved April 24, 2017 .
  9. ^ "Honey women": crowd puller in the ZDF media library . In: presseportal.de . ( presseportal.de [accessed July 24, 2017]).
  10. Sidney Schering: Primetime Check: Sunday, April 23, 2017.quotemeter.de , April 24, 2017, accessed on May 8, 2017 : "[...] very good 14.1 percent market share."
  11. Timo Nöthling: Primetime check: Sunday, April 30, 2017.quotemeter.de , May 1, 2017, accessed on May 8, 2017 .
  12. Sidney Schering: Primetime check: Sunday, May 7, 2017.quotemeter.de , May 8, 2017, accessed on May 8, 2017 : "[...] and solid 12.4 percent."