16.04. ‐ 21.04.2024

Ihre ergebenste Fräulein

Eva C. Heldmann

Often overlooked in history, rarely considered in societal questions: the female perspective. In the essay film Well Ordered Nature, letters and monographies from botanist and teacher Catharina Helena Dörrien, who comes from the 18th century central-Hessian Dillenburg, are read aloud. Her scientific powers of observation and her view of the gentle connection of the floral cosmos reveal new perspectives on the world. There, they stand in harsh contrast to the male voices that demand an unnatural order, based on established power structures and supported by discriminatory practices. In discourse with contemporary lawmaking of the aristocracy, an inconspicuous and yet direct critique of the supposedly progressive male sovereignty arises.

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Direction Eva C. Heldmann
Country Germany
Year 2024
Duration 73 min
Language German with English subtitles
Cast Elisabeth Gugel, Jochen Nix (Sprecher:innen)
Camera Lisa C. Heldmann, Vita Spieß
Editing Eva C. Heldmann
Sound Michel Klöfkorn

Presented by:

About the director

Eva C. Heldmann was born in Dillenburg and founded the Mondpalast arthouse cinema near Limburg an der Lahn in 1979. From 1987 to 1989, she designed the programme of the iconic Mal Seh'n cinema and also directed the Frankfurt Film Show from 1984 to 2000, which cemented her as an important cultural figure in the city. Her first film, written and directed by herself, was "Johnny oder das rohe Fleisch" in 1984. Many of her subsequent films screened at the Berlinale as part of the Forum or Forum Expanded, including "Fremd gehen" in 2000, "r i v e r r e d" in 2012 and "Im Gehäus" in 2017. Her most recent work, the essay film "Ihre ergebenste Fräulein", also premiered at the Berlinale and received good reviews.

Press reviews

"In the montage, individual-personal and official-authoritative writing practise closing ranks and rub against each other. Image and sound are sometimes very loosely associated [...] In other moments, text and image create almost polemical unambiguities" (Cosima Lutz, Filmdienst)

"Just as one shot does not yet make the gaze unbiased, Ihre ergebenste Fräulein is not a plea for an immediate experience of nature. By prefacing her film with a historical description of the weather, Heldmann awakens associations with the climate crisis and the destruction of nature in us as contemporary viewers [sic]. It is always the outside of the intimate experience of nature that counts." (Stephan Ahrens, critic.de)

The director about the film

"At first I thought we were being held up to a mirror here. But it's not that simple. The forms of society today and back then are very different. I'm not a historian or a philosopher. That's why I worked my way through the topics. Poverty and begging - Dörrien also addresses this in her writings. Then there is the topic of foreigners, nature, forests and the climate in the sources. These are also our themes today." (Eva C. Heldmann in an interview with taz)



Regional Feature Film Program