A Woman in Flames

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In the middle of a stuffy dinner party, Eva (Landgrebe) walks out of her marriage and into the world of high-class prostitution. She finds customers, a lover (Chris, a male prostitute), and that the thin veneer of chic separating her life from the ordinary world can be pierced by the new emotional strains. Van Ackeren casts a cold eye upon the German middle classes, for whom post-war prosperity has brought expectations of comfort, culture and sterile sex. The subject is not prostitution. Quite what it is, is hard to fathom, for the sexual politics and psychology are complex, and the shifts in tone - from carnal comedy to tragedy - dramatic. But for Eva it is about emotional and economic freedom, bought with sexual favours and too precious to surrender, even to the benign imperialism of Chris' love. Landgrebe spikes Eva's stubborn docility with an icy poise, in a performance which is mesmerising and the key that unlocks the strange pleasures of this film.

By: FD

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Robert van Ackeren
Screenwriter: Catharina Zwerenz, Robert van Ackeren
Cast: Mathieu Carrière
Matthias Fuchs
Gudrun Landgrebe
Hanns Zischler
Gabriele Lafari