Marianne and Juliane | Chicago Reader

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Also known as The German Sisters and The Leaden Years, and Sheer Madness, Margarethe von Trotta's film won the top prize at the 1981 Chicago International Film Festival. Juliane (Jutta Lampe) is a leftist who believes in working within the system; her sister Marianne (Barbara Sukowa, of Fassbinder's Lola) is a clench-jawed terrorist who rejects everything Juliane stands for, but still comes to her for help. The film never quite transcends the sterile atmosphere of allegory, though von Trotta's psychological insights—developed largely through flashbacks to the sisters' girlhood—add some human density to her didactic fable. With Rüdiger Vogler.

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