Helga Reidemeister: Is This Fate? (Von wegen Schicksal)

Is This Fate? (Von wegen Schicksal), Helga Reidemeister, 122‘, FRG, ZDF 29.3.1979, Original German version

In 1978, the documentarian Helga Reidemeister focused her second intense film observation on the 48-year-old seamstress Irene Rakowitz’s struggle for self-determination. A mother of four, she resolves to divorce her husband in order to focus more intently on her own needs and dreams. In the application to ZDF for approval of treatment, it says: “Helga Reidemeister’s films are explained by her method; she does not present feature-like reports about people who are ‘interesting’ after superficial research, but describes people she knows, with whom she lives.” The film, which neither conceals nor exposes the conflicts in the family, received on completion the rating: especially praiseworthy, “because it attempts to unfold existence, to describe it and to differentiate it.”

Helga Reidemeister (1940–2021) was a German director, initially focused on social and feminist themes in her observational documentaries. She received the German Film Award several times. Her debut film The Bought Dream (1977) was shown in Das kleine Fernsehspiel and the Berlinale Forum, and a year later she made Is This Fate? (1979) for the same editorial department. Eyes Fixed on the Money (1983) featured in the Forum.