Maria Schrader’s directorial debut, “Liebesleben,” currently in post with Teuton release scheduled for fall, is an unusual Israeli-German love affair.
The Teuton thesp (“Aimee & Jaguar”), who’d also been co-penning five of helmer Dani Levy’s scripts, met Israeli novelist Zeruya Shalev when she was asked by the publisher to do a reading tour of the German translation of Shalev’s book “Liebesleben.”
Shalev and Schrader hit it off and while the book turned into a bestseller in Germany, the two femmes started talking about turning it into a script.
Schrader took her script to X-Filme’s Stefan Arndt as she and the Berlin-based outfit had been longtime collaborators.
Shot on location in the old city of Jerusalem and interiors in Tel Aviv and Cologne, “Liebesleben” is a $5.3 million German-Israeli co-production between X-Filme and Transfax Tel Aviv.
The English-language pic stars Israeli thesp Netta Garti and Rade Serbedzija, Stephen Singer and Israeli Icon Assi Adayan, son of former Israeli prime-minister Moshe Adayan.
“Parts of the story could be compared to ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ but the protagonist’s family and what she learns about her parents through her lover is also an important element in the film,” said Schrader, adding that the fact that this film is a German-Israeli co-production yet does not touch on the Third Reich is a political statement in itself.
One of the most difficult aspects of the production was to get filming permission for the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem, the holiest church of the Christian faith.
“Liebesleben” is being sold through X-Filme.