If you’re ever on Jeopardy! and the category is German Female Directors, you might just want to answer “Leni Riefenstahl” and “Margarethe von Trotta”; odds are those names will come up. Riefenstahl made the propaganda documentary Triumph of the Will among many other works, and von Trotta, although less celebrated, has fashioned a career spanning four decades of complicated, heavy work. Her latest, Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen, is a biography of a 12th-century Benedictine nun—so we know it’s going to stand apart from everything else in theaters. Von Bingen dabbled in philosophy, music, naturalism, poetry and more, and her contributions and outspoken nature were rarities for women at that time—and for nearly a millennium thereafter. Enlightening but not easily accessible, Vision is likely a better subject for further study than it is a film.
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Producer: Hengameh Panahi and Markus Zimmer
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles, Paula Kalenberg, Annemarie Duringer, Devid Striesow, Mareile Blendl and Vera Lippisch
Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen