Lotte Lenya — Why am I not Happy?

Docu­men­ta­ry
´52, ZDF/arte, 2020

watch (only in german)

Lot­te Lenya is one of the most important inter­pre­ters of the Ber­tolt Brecht/Kurt Weill musi­cal theat­re. She was the wife of the Ger­man com­po­ser Kurt Weill and flew in 1935 with him to the USA. Songs like “Mack the Kni­fe”, “Speak Low” or “Sep­tem­ber Song” only beca­me stan­dards becau­se of her extra­or­di­na­ry per­for­mance. She was an irre­pla­ce­ab­le part of her husband’s work. After Weills ear­ly death in 1950, she devo­ted herself into main­tai­ning his work. She plays the “Pira­te Jen­ny” at the pre­mie­re of the “Three­pen­ny Ope­ra” in 1928 in Ber­lin, in the 1931 film of G. W. Pabst and again in the 1950s in the Broad­way pro­duc­tion, for which she has recei­ved a Tony Award. In the 50s and 60s she had gre­at suc­cess in the USA. She play­ed the les­bi­an KGB agent Rosa Klebb in the James Bond film “From Rus­sia with Love” and she shaped the song “So What” by Frau­lein Schnei­der in the musi­cal “Caba­ret”.
Lot­te Lenya always brought her own life expe­ri­en­ces, some of them tra­gic, to the sta­ge. She hated every fake fee­ling. Lenya stands for huma­ni­ty, hones­ty, direct­ness — that’s what made her famous and for some also noto­rious. The docu­men­ta­ry allows the actress to have her own say — in tele­vi­si­on inter­views and let­ters, which testi­fy her wit, ten­der­ness and urge for life. They are pre­sen­ted by the Lenya admi­rer Meret Becker, a Ger­man Actress and Singer.

Credits:

Screenplay/Director: Kat­ja Duregger
Direc­tor of Photography: Julia Wein­gar­ten, Tom Berg­mann, Smi­na Bluth
Sound: Alex­an­der Hein­ze, Niko­la Cha­pel­le, Maxi­mi­li­an Pellnitz
Film Edi­t­ing: Vol­ker Gehrke
Gra­phic Design: Arno Blu­men­stock
Head of Production: Oli­ver Lau
Com­mis­sio­ning Editor: Kath­rin Brink­mann, ZDF/arte
Pro­du­cer: André Schä­fer
Pro­duc­tion: Flo­rian­film GmbH