2017 | Documentary | 52′ |   Kollwitz. Ein Leben in Leidenschaft (2017) on IMDb

A Life with Art and War

Graphic designer and sculptor Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) is one of the most important German artists of all time. Her work is known around the world, fetching high prices at art auctions. And her memorial “Mourning Parents” in the soldiers’ graveyard outside of the Belgian village of Vladslo is one of the most important sepulchral sculptures of the 20th century. But how much do we really know about Käthe Kollwitz? Who was this woman who now looks out at us so directly from countless portraits?

Born 8 July 1867, this year will mark the 150th anniversary of her birth. She was one of the first women permitted to study art in Munich and was a recognised artist even under the Kaiser. Fun-loving, curious and committed, she was also a politically strong voice in her time. None of her work is without a message. Terrible misfortune, including the loss of her son Peter in World War I, shattered her life. Themes such as grief, loss, poverty, hunger and war became much more prevalent in her work.

Who was this woman behind the artwork which affects so many people all around the world? Using her diaries and drawings, as well as conversations with descendants and international experts, the film sets out to discover one of the most charismatic women of the 20th century, whose life was defined primarily by irrepressible, never diminishing passion.

Photo © Nachlass Kollwitz