One of the most intense and probably the best Schlondorff film, co-directed by Margarethe Von Trotta. Based on the novel by Heinrich Boll, the film portrays the personal tragedy of its titled protagonist, who after spending a night with a wanted state criminal unknowingly on a chance meeting trapped being the victim of fascist power, law and sensation mongering press, claiming her terrorist and whore. Bending the thrill and mystery genre conventions, the film is not only a tale of personal nightmare but also a powerful statement on theme of character assassination done by vulgar use of freedom of speech. It questions the distortion of truth by power of negative and sensationalist mass media damaging the life of an innocent individual. The film keeps making blows as it progresses further especially punches it hard towards the end where the reporter is declared as immortal hero in the speech. Angela Winkler is the lady to watch as Blum, fighting to keep her grace and honour intact in the hostile & morally corrupt world around.
As I read Boll’s original novel (after watching the film), I must say that it’s quite difficult one for screen adaptation as it was narrated to detached reporting style. The work is partly based on the harrowing real life case though Boll denied direct connection in his preface. However Schlondorff managed to bring brilliant effect due to first rate performance of Angela Winkler, it also fine example how he made essential changes in the screenplay to make it interesting and subtle. The creative liberty taken by him in the end of the film is more vehement, stimulating and sarcastic punch on the face of yellow journalism than the one in the book.
One of an essential German New wave film to watch before you die.