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From Volker Schlondorff, the acclaimed director of The Ogre, The Tin Drum, The Lost Honor Of Katharina Blum, and Circle Of Deceit, comes The Legend Of Rita, a striking political thriller set in the later years of the Cold War. Anchored by a stunning lead performance by newcomer Bibiana Beglau, in the title role, the film recounts the struggles of a young West German woman as she flees from the consequences of her radical past. Rita starts her journey as a member of a bank-robbing terrorist group loosely based on the real Baader-Meinhof gang, who sparred with the West German police throughout the seventies. After a series of complications, these anti-capitalist revolutionaries are forced to disband, but Rita decides to take refuge in East Germany under a false identity - the "legend" of the title. As "Susanne Schmidt," a worker at a fabric dyeing plant, this former socialist activist begins to encounter some of the drab and discontented reality of a Communist state. With remarkable dexterity, The Legend Of Rita deftly captures the conflicts at the heart of a socialist system, even as Rita becomes personally involved with an alcoholic factory worker (Nadja Uhl) and then a young physics student (Alexander Beyer). As the years pass and Rita is forced into other identities, the film becomes a vivid portrait of her growing sense of alienation, although her devotion to the distant ideal of socialism never changes. For Mr. Schlöndorff, The Legend Of Rita is a triumph. With intense, sure-handed direction, he explores the emotional dilemmas posed by commitment to a cause. An engrossing document of one woman's experience up to and including the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Legend Of Rita is a powerful drama of recent history that is not easily forgotten.

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Special Features Audio Commentary with Volker Schlöndorff Liner Notes with Schlöndorff and screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase Interview U.S. Theatrical Trailer

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KI2182 Legend of Rita DVD (2000/Volker Schlondorff) $29.95 $24.99