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valeska grisebach

Born in Bremen in 1968. Studied philosophy and German literature in Berlin, Munich and Vienna. From 1993 to 2001 she studied under Peter Patzak, Wolfgang Glück and Michael Haneke at the Vienna Film Academy. She also spent a year (1996/1997) at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Grisebach presented her documentary film project Sprechen und Nichtsprechen (Speaking and Non-speaking) at Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts in 1995. Two documentary films followed: In der Wüste Gobi (1997) and Berlino (1999). Her 2001 feature-film debut, Mein Stern (Be My Star) was also her graduation film at the Vienna Film Academy. Here she first applied her innovative method of working with young non-professional actors. The film received favourable reviews and numerous national and international awards.


2005 Sehnsucht (Longing)
2001 Mein Stern
1999 Berlino
1997 In der Wüste Gobi
1995 Sprechen und nichtsprechen

Director’s statement

Aside from the concrete, visible life one leads, I’ve always been moved by the number of other lives that exist only in one’s imagination: If one were in another place, or had met another person, made a different decision, or were daring enough… For me ”longing“ is a very personal feeling: a wild power that can say a lot about a person, but which can also contain a bittersweet hint of farewell, of something forsaken. Sometimes this one life is too small.
In the course of my research interviews for the film, I got the impression that love affairs often become a stage for longing. Here, wishes are to come true, exciting things are supposed to happen, things that make you alive. Here, you become a dramatic figure, you reveal your face. The man in this story is an exalted, romantic figure; in the old-fashioned sense: almost a man of honor. A man who tries to do everything right, to assume responsibility—and who fails. There is no protection.

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