Lotte Lenya — Why am I not Happy?
´52, ZDF/arte, 2020
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.
||Julia Weingarten, Tom Bergmann, Smina Bluth
||Alexander Heinze, Nikola Chapelle, Maximilian Pellnitz
|Head of Production:
||Kathrin Brinkmann, ZDF/arte