In 1788 Wiemar, the aristocratic von Lengefeld sisters make friends with the penniless writer and philosopher, Friedrich Schiller, soon becoming involved in a complex love triangle.
As tenagers the sisters had sworn, by the side of a raging river, to always share everything, but when they become involved with Schiller, they realise just how difficult this is.
The film follows the oscillating relationship between the three. In the beginning it is clear the sisters love each other more than they love any man. Later though, when Caroline, the older, married sister has persuaded Charlotte the younger sister to marry Schiller, the marriage comes between the two women, Caroline hating to see her sister enjoying spending her life with the man she, Caroline, wants for herself. At the same time Schiller is helping Caroline with her own literary ambitions (she's writing a novel and after Schiller's early death, she is the one to write his biography).
The film focuses on writing, but despite the fame of Schiller as a writer, it's the letters that the three write to each other, using a secret code, that are more central.
It's a very long film, but is totally engaging for the whole of it's length. Not only are the characters and their relationships absorbing to watch, but there is the historical background (part of the story taking place as the French Revolution is happening, an event which had a profound influence on Schiller's thinking). It is also a beautifully made film with stunning scenery, sumptuous interiors and beautiful costumes.
Beloved Sisters is showing as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
18.30, 25 June at Odeon and 15.00, 28 June at Cineworld.
You can read my previous reviews of the film festival so far by following the links below:
A Dangerous Game.
My Name is Salt.
Legacy, Mistory and Language - a review of N: The Madness of Reason; A House in Berlin and Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?
Ancient Temples, Vertigo and Film-making - a review of Manakamana and La ultima pelicula.
Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film
Festival amd am attending free press screenings of these films.
A reminder that I'm running a blog giveaway to win a pdf of my book Bougainvillea Dancing, poetry, prose and photos inspired by Malawi. Find out more and enter here.
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