Berlinale honors German duo

Schygulla, Kohlhaase to be awarded honorary Golden Bears

German thesps Hanna Schygulla and Wolfgang Kohlhaase will be feted at the Berlin Film Festival’s Homage with honorary Golden Bears for lifetime achievement.

Berlinale organizers said both had “decisively shaped post-war German cinema.”

Schygulla is best known for her work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, having starred in 20 of his films between 1969 and 1980.

Schygulla’s star rose internationally through Fassbinder’s later works, such as “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” for which the actress received the Silver Bear in 1979, and “Lili Marleen” in 1981.

She has also worked with a variety of directors including Wim Wenders and Jean-Luc Godard.

More recently Schygulla starred in Fatih Akin’s “The Edge of Heaven” and has also been active in theater projects and directorial works.

Her experimental film “Traumprotokolle,” part of the film collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will be among works screening at the Berlinale.

As part of the homage, Fassbinder’s rarely seen 1971 comedy “Rio das Mortes” also will unspool.

As a screenwriter and director, Kohlhaase strongly influenced filmmaking in East Germany and went on to make his mark on modern German cinema following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the country’s unification.

Kohlhaase worked closely with filmmakers Gerhard Klein, Konrad Wolf, and Frank Beyer at East Germany’s Defa film group.

His first box office hits were the “Berlin” films made with Klein, including 1957’s “Berlin — Schoenhauser Corner.” They were among the first films to show everyday life in East Germany.

Kohlhaase later wrote for directors Bernhard Wicki and Schloendorff and more recently for Andreas Dresen, including this year’s “Whisky With Vodka” and 2006’s “Summer in Berlin.”

“Hanna Schygulla and Wolfgang Kohlhaase both stand for renewal and departure in West and East Germany,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

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