TRAILER "AIMEE & JAGUAR" courtesy of Senator Film; I/V MARIA SCHRADER ; TRAILER ; I/V JULIANE KOHLER;ZOOM INTO CAST AT PRESS CONFERENCE DURING BERLIN FILMFEST; I/V LILLY WUST ; FILM CLIP ; I/V MARIA SCHRADER ; FILM CLIP.
REAL LIFE TALE OF EXTRAORDINARY LOVE WOOS BERLIN CROWD
This year's Berlin Film festival proudly opened with a home-grown drama about two remarkable women and their love for one another during the last years of World War II. AIMEEE & JAGUAR, tells the real life story of LILLY WUST, the well respected wife of a Nazi officer and her passionate love affair with FELICE SCHRAGENHEIM, a Jewish writer who worked for a Nazi newspaper under a false identity and secretly delivered information to a resistance group.
Based on the book by ERICA FISCHER, the film had its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last week where principal actresses, MARIA SCHRADER and JULIANE KOHLER,were accompanied by the now 85 year-old LILLY WUST.
Set in Berlin at the height of the '43-44 bombings, the film introduces Lilly (played by Juliane Kohler) in her late twenties. Wust leads a conventional life, looking after her four children and being a good housewife although she frequently takes lovers while her husband, Gunther, is away on duty. Meanwhile, Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader) lives a more bohemian lifestyle with her female lovers and friends, savouring every moment of life yet aware of the danger she is in should the Gestapo find out she is not really Felice Schrader but Felice Schragenheim.
The two women meet by chance at a concert and are brought together a second time through a mutual acquaintance (Lilly's maid, Ilse is a friend of Felice's). In the midst of nightly bombing raids, the two women discover their mutual attraction and embark on a love affair that is to change their lives completely. Every day they write letters and poems to each other, calling each other the nick names of "Aimee" (for Lilly) and "Jaguar" for Felice. The only thing that begins to trouble Lilly about Felice is her tendency to disappear for nights on end without ever explaining herself. Eventually Felice tells Lilly that she is Jewish and secretly working for a resistance group - a calculated risk considering Lilly's husband is a committed Nazi - but Lilly returns the trust by letting Felice move into her flat and divorcing her husband. The two lovers try to block out the dreadful reality of war and persecution but it finally catches up with them. One hot day in August 1944, while they swim, play and photograph each other on the banks of the Havel, the Gestapo lie in wait for Felice back at Lilly's flat.
At the end of the war in May 1945, Lilly began her search for Felice. She displayed missing persons notices, had an announcement read over the radio and talked to people who had returned from the concentration camps in the hope that someone would know of her fate.
In 1948, Felice was declared dead by the District Court at Berlin Charlottenburg. The time and place of her death are unknown but she probably died during one of the infamous death marches.
As MAX FARBERBOCK, the director explained, "There is no jumbled moral in the film, no condemnation of the events, no aesthetic embellishment or avoidance of things which were hard and painful in real life. In other words, where there is dirt we have left it, but we have also shown the beauty".
Maria Schrader is one of Germany's most acclaimed actresses and has starred in "I was on Mars", "Burning Life", and "Stille Nacht".
Juliane Kohler is a well-known theatre actress but made her cinema debut in "Aimee & Jaguar".