Margarethe von Trotta - The Age of Women

An artist of Margarethe von Trotta’s calibre is rare in Germany. Margarethe von Trotta was back in the 1960s one of the very few women working as a film director and has layed the foundation for many young female artists.

In February 2022 she will turn 80, offering the perfect opportunity to make a full-length documentary film about her. Her filmography is one of the most important in international film history and she is currently working on adding to her already impressive portfolio with a new, major feature film.

The exciting thing about this project is that it explores important periods in German history via her films. The 1960s, the RAF era, the women’s movement and the Fall of the Wall – Margarethe von Trotta’s films have dealt with all of these topics. And at the same time, von Trotta is a subtle investigator of the architecture of the human soul – the female soul, in particular.

Von Trotta’s oeuvre has wide-ranging international dimensions. In her films, she deals with universal topics and she is popular and renowned in many countries – in some of them, even more so than in Germany.
In France, Italy, the U.S. she is celebrated as the great star director she is. Many of the interviewees in our film are well-known personalities from Germany, Italy, France and the U.S.

The film has no additional commentary - the only narration comes from Margarethe von Trotta and her conversation partners.
The film will not simply cover Margarethe’s artistic accomplishments with the occasional link to contemporary history. Rather, it will explore the private person, the sensitive woman behind the art. The film examines her emotions and what motivates her and in this way honors her as a multi-faceted and complex person. What makes her special is that she allows us to get very close to her.

Her life is an embodiment of German film and emancipation history, and she is looked up to by many young women. Julia von Heinz refers to Margarethe as her biggest role model.

Scenes in countries outside Germany underline Margarethe's internationality: The documentary shows her in Rome, where she lived, where she met Fellini, and her favourite places in the city. In Paris, we show Margarethe in her home neighbourhood and in her apartment, where she talks about plans to move to Germany. In Berlin, she shows us the house where she lived in poverty with her mother as a small child and talks about her childhood in bombed-out Berlin. In New York, actress Barbara Sukowa and screen-writer Pam Katz give insights on the international film-business and Margarethes role as female director.
Von Trotta is still a very dynamic woman: Always active, always on the go.

  • Cuini Amelio Ortiz
  • Peter Altmann
  • Cuini Amelio Ortiz
  • Michaela Hummel
  • Kerstin Ramcke
  • Margarethe von Trotta
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Margarethe von Trotta - Zeit der Frauen
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    219 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, Italy, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    1920 x 1080 Full HD
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • WDR Fernsehen
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Cuini Amelio Ortiz, Peter Altmann

Cuini Amelio Ortiz attended the University of Cordoba, Argentina, where she majored in film and journalism.
She traveled extensively throughout South America making anthropological documentaries, and then spent time in the United States where she continued her studies.
After completing her master's in documentary film at the Columbia University of Film and Journalism in New York - USA, she works as a director of a documentary film team at the Anthropological Institute CELACIS (Centro Latino-Americano de Cine Social) in Lima.
At the beginning of the 80's she wanders to Europe.
Cuini’s film career took her to Rome where she conducted various seminars at La Sapienza University. In 1984 the Italian Ministry of Education and the European Council invited her to direct a project dealing with visual language and its influence on society in Sicily.
Since 1985 Cuini lives and works in Berlin as a filmmaker. She realizes over 40 documentary films for German and other European Broadcasters (many times in conflict zones). She established the Department of Film and Video at the International Cultural Center Schlesische 27, and served as director through the year 2000.

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Director Statement

Directors notes

Peter Altmann, a fiction director, is a close friend of Margarethe von Trotta since 1998 and has worked as an assistant director on many of her projects. The director appreciates her natural cosmopolitanism, her unusual life and, last but not least, her extraordinarily philanthropic way of working. He calls her an exceptional talent among European filmmakers.
Peter Altmann asked a good friend, the documentary filmmaker and author Cuini Amelio Ortiz, to collaborate on this project, since the documentary genre is new territory for him. It turned out that she, too, is well acquainted with Margarethe von Trotta and admires her greatly.
With Margarethe von Trottas benevolently support and exclusive rights to this project, a wonderful documentary has been created.
The film is a richly detailed portrait of Margarethe von Trotta and gives candid insights into her private life and deals with the philosophical questions about life and death, justice and equality, which she likes to address not only in private but also in her films.