Veronika Voss (German: Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, "The Longing of Veronika Voss") is a black-and-white 1982 film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
This, Fassbinder's penultimate film, is the second film of his BRD Trilogy, coming between The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola. It is also the last film released during Fassbinder's lifetime.
The film is loosely based on the career of actress Sybille Schmitz and is influenced by Billy Wilderâs Sunset Boulevard.
Munich, 1955. Veronika Voss is a formerly popular UFA film star who is now struggling to get roles. She meets a sports reporter named Robert Krohn and is impressed that he does not know who she is. The two begin a love affair, even though Robert already lives with his girlfriend Henriette, who nevertheless realizes that Veronika has an irresistible allure. Veronikaâs behavior is erratic and sometimes desperate, and as Robert delves into her life he discovers that she is essentially a captive to a corrupt neurologist named Dr. Marianne Katz. Dr. Katz keeps Veronika addicted to opiates and uses her power to give or deny drugs as a means to bleed the actress of her wealth. To verify his suspicions, Robert has Henriette approach Dr. Katz and pretend to be a rich woman in need of psychiatric care. Dr. Katz writes Henriette a prescription for an opiate but afterward witnesses her making a phone call in the street outside the office. Dr. Katz then has Henriette killed and with Veronika's help covers up the crime when Robert arrives with the police. The film ends tragically as Dr. Katz and her cohorts have Veronika sign over all that she owns and give her a fatal dose of pills. After Veronikaâs death, Robert observes the villains celebrating their victory and is unable to do a thing.
Fassbinder has a cameo role in the beginning of the film sitting behind Voss in a movie theatre and watching her old movie. Lilo Pempeit (also Liselotte Eder) who plays the manager of a jewelry store was Fassbinder's mother. GÃ¼nther Kaufmann, one of Fassbinder's former lovers, plays in all three films of the cycle. In this one he is an enigmatic African-American G.I. Juliane Lorenz, seen in the brief role of a secretary, was a close associate of Fassbinder and the editor of this film; she became the chief executive of Fassbinder's estate, the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation in 1992. Lorenz spotted an article in Die Zeit about Schmitz's legal case and drew it to Fassbinder's attention.
- Rosel Zech as Veronika Voss
- Hilmar Thate as Robert Krohn
- Cornelia Froboess as Henriette
- Annemarie DÃ¼ringer as Dr. Marianne Katz
- Armin Mueller-Stahl as Max Rehbein
- Doris Schade as Josefa
- Erik Schumann as Dr. Edel
- Peter Berling as Film producer
- GÃ¼nther Kaufmann as G.I.
- Sonja Neudorfer as Saleswoman
- Lilo Pempeit as Chefin
- Volker Spengler as Film director #1
- Herbert Steinmetz as Gardner
- Elisabeth Volkmann as Grete
- Hans WyprÃ¤chtiger as Editor-in-chief
- Peter Zadek as Film director #2
- Johanna Hofer and Rudolf Platte as the old married couple
- Juliane Lorenz as a secretary
Reception and Awards
The film was entered into the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Bear.
Roger Ebert added the film to his Great Movies collection.
- List of German language films
- List of recent films in black-and-white
- Veronika Voss at the Internet Movie Database
- Veronika Voss at AllMovie
- Lost Film Comments: Review
- Criterion Collection Essay by Michael TÃ¶teberg