Monday, 11 May 2009

Diva Divine

A.H. and I did a bulk deal again this year and went along to 5 films that screened at the 2009 German Film Festival. Films were good but the most outstanding was Hilde – the story of actor, singer, writer; Hildegard Knef (above).

Running for 2 hours, which I never noticed as it was totally engrossing & starring Heike Makatsch (Aimee & Jaguar, Resident Evil, Anatomie 2, Love Actually) who bears striking resemblance to the real Hildegard:

(abvoe: Heike Makatsch)


Hildegard Knef 28/12/1925 – 1/2/2002 – Another true Diva to celebrate.

Hildegard was 14 years old when WWII began and studied acting in Berlin under the Third Reich. She had an affair with a Third Reich bureaucrat & disguised herself as a male soldier during the last days of Hitler’s hold over Berlin, mainly to avoid being caught (and raped*) by Russian soldiers (don’t miss it if you ever get the chance to view Helke Sander’s excellent 1992 documentary, *BeFreier und BeFreite ( Liberators Take Liberties)- about the not so celebrated actions of the Allies in Berlin)

Despite being invited to Hollywood by David Selznick, her USA success was on stage on Broadway.
Moving back to Germany, she continued acting (with a little controversy) but truly found who she was in the early 1960s when she started writing, recording and performing her own songs and some memorable covers. She was also a prolific book writer, survived breast cancer and died from emphysema in 2002.

The film, Hilde, is a fabulous portrayal of a genuine diva – try to see it.

(at the beginning of the trailer she says, "who is Hildegard Knef? I've found an answer to this question, This is Hildegard Knef" - when she first stands on stage as a singer)

Ella Fitzgerald is quoted to have said Hildegard Knef is "the best singer without a voice".

Here in the 1970s, she does rap (probably called spoken word, you reckon?):


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