Actress, writer and film director Margarethe von Trotta began her career in cinema as an actress. Shortly thereafter, she began co-scripting works with Volker Schlöndorff with whom she co-directed The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975). Her first solo feature was The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1977), a film that confirmed von Trotta’s unique directorial voice by introducing many of the themes that recur in her later work: the complexities of female bonding and the uses and effects of violence. She followed this up with a trilogy of films, which contributed to the development of mainstream feminist cinema. The first, Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness (1979), is perhaps the most personal of all her films and has drawn favorable comparisons to Bergman’s Persona (1966). In 1981, von Trotta gained international acclaim with Marianne and Juliane, also known as The German Sisters, her calling card to the world and arguably her masterpiece. It was the first film directed by a woman to win the Golden Lion at Venice International Film Festival since Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938). Psychologically insightful and politically complex, von Trotta’s work, which includes more than 20 directing credits and 34 prestigious awards, is noted for its focus on women’s relationships.