Learn German with the films of filmmaker Doris Dörrie!

Learn German with Films of Doris Dörrie

Usually, when you say a filmmaker has varied experience, it means that maybe they have worked on both sides of the camera. Or they tried their hand at a bit of writing. Perhaps they even have experience as a producer. But Doris Dörrie is a true jack of all trades that meets and exceeds those expectations.

An accomplished and award-winning filmmaker, Doris Dörrie typically writes and directs her own films. She has also found success in the literary world, as both a journalist and as an author. Oh, and just for good measure, she has produced a number of operas. And she even has a handful of acting titles to her name!

This month, let’s get to know the filmmaker Doris Dörrie and learn German with film!



Get to Know Doris Dörrie

The daughter of a doctor, Doris Dörrie was born on May 26, 1955, in Hanover, Germany.

She completed her Abitur in Hanover. In the early 1970s, she moved to the United States to study acting and film at the University of the Pacific in California and then at the New School for Social Research in New York. She supported herself by working part-time at restaurants as well as as a projectionist at the Goethe House.

After two years in the United States, she returned to Germany to study in Munich. It was during this time that she secured a job writing film reviews and as an editorial assistant for Süddeutsche Zeitung.

It was also at this point that Dörrie began her career in the film industry. At first, she was working in television and creating small documentary films. Dörrie received critical acclaim at film festivals for her work.

In addition to her work in the film and television industries, she has also an accomplished author. Her written works include novels, short stories, and children’s books. She also has staged a number of operas.

Learn German with the film Männer of filmmaker Doris Dörrie!

Männer (Men…)

Written and directed by Doris Dörrie, Männer was the highest-grossing German film in Germany when it came out in 1986. It also served as actor Heiner Lauterbach‘s breakthrough performance.

In the film, Lauterbach portrays Julius, a man who thinks he has it all worked out. Between his successful career and the affair he is having with his secretary, he thinks life is pretty well. That is until his wife leaves him for a starving artist. Julius is gutted.

Soon after, Julius befriends his wife’s lover, Stefan (portrayed by Uwe Ochsenknecht). The artist is not aware of their mutual “friend” and the two are soon roommates. With Julius’ encouragement, Stefan uses his artistic skills to profit financially. Once Stefan realizes Julius has been deceiving him, things start to unravel.

Learn German with the film Bin ich schön? from filmmaker Doris Dörrie!

Bin ich schön? (Am I Beautiful?)

The 1998 dramatic comedy Bin ich schön? (or Am I Beautiful? in English) tells the story of a group of people in Germany and Spain that are looking to change their lives.

The film centers on Franziska but grows to involve the intertwining stories of her family members, her former love, and several acquaintances. They are all struggling with their personal lives. Franziska is attempting to move on from her past love with Klaus by getting married to someone else. Unfortunately, she is marrying the wrong man for the wrong reasons. Klaus, meanwhile, is getting to know a new woman, Linda, in Spain who is deaf and mute. (Or is she?)

The ensemble cast includes Senta Berger, Franka Potente, Anica Dobra, and Steffen Wink.

Learn German with the film Kirschblüten – Hanami of filmmaker Doris Dörrie!

Kirschblüten – Hanami (Cherry Blossoms)

Dörrie again writes and directs the touching 2008 drama Kirschblüten – Hanami (Cherry Blossoms).

In the film, Trudi discovers she is terminally ill. She decides against telling her husband, Rudi, and instead suggests they visit two of their adult children in northern Germany. The trip is not without its challenges. In particular, the children are not thrilled to see their parents. Unexpectedly, Trudi dies.

Lost in his grief, Rudi decides to visit Karl, their third child (portrayed by Maximilian Brückner) in Tokyo. Trudi had long dreamed of visiting Tokyo and Rudi uses the visit as an opportunity to experience what his late wife never could.

The story continues in the 2019 sequel Kirschblüten & Dämonen (Cherry Blossoms & Demons).

Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.

Top photo courtesy of Ute Körner Literary Agent. This post contains affiliate links.

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