Germany / USA, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)
Director: David Riva
Clichés and suppositions are blown out of the water in the true story of one of cinema's most fascinating, yet enigmatic, stars. Directed by her grandson, David Riva, the film presents previously unpublished material, newly-found footage and a never-before-seen version of Marlene's private home movies - shedding new light on Dietrich's personal struggle against Hitler's Germany.
Beginning in the heady climate of her birthplace in Berlin during the 20s and 30s, we accompany the star through her initial successes and then on to Hollywood. In America she was to become someone to whom countless emigres ran to as a source of support. Her contact with immigrants was to provide the impetus for her burgeoning political consciousness, and later led her to tireless campaigns to entertain American troops and promote war bonds used to bomb Berlin where her own mother still lived! A roller-coaster ride of political intrigue, artistic achievement and uncompromising emotions of the 'Blue Angel'.
David Riva, grandson of Marlene Dietrich, was born in New York City and raised in London. Having worked as producer and development executive for MGM, Warner Bros., Columbia/Tri-Star and Republic Pictures, he debuts as director with Marlene Dietich: Her Own Song.