125 min


after documents, letters and writings

by Heinrich von Kleist

cast ...

Stimmings near Potsdam 1811


Berlin 1806 - 1811


Aspern 1809

Fortress Mainz 1797 - 1799

Frankfurt/Oder 1799 - 1811

the Theatre de Soleil

Paris 1801


Weimar 1808


the Riebisch couple, hired laborers

Henriette Vogel

Ernst von Pfuel

Ulrike von Kleist


but I swear to you ...

it is quite impossible for me

to live any longer.

My soul is so injured

that I, I'd almost say ...

whenever I stick my nose

out of the window

the daylight is hurtful to me

that shines upon it.

Some people might think this morbid and eccentric.

By having been in constant contact

with beauty and decorum since my earliest youth,

in my thoughts and writings,

I have become so sensitive

that the slightest attacks

a person's feelings are subject to

during the course of things

are hurting me doubly and triply.

[letter to Marie von Kleist, 10 Nov. 1811]

Mummy, let me in!

Mummy, let me in!






Privy Councilor

State Chancellor

Even though ...

even though

the distance

far away from ???

who certainly


is solely



of the disgrace





claim for damages

since the



is threatened by danger

highborn Freiherr



without doubt will succeed

Your venerable Excellency, to ...

to ...

to convince




Berlin, 19 Sept. 1811

Herr von Kleist

asks for ...

a private loan

of 20 pieces francs d'or.

To be filed

since the persona von Kleist,

is no longer alive.



to be filed

to be filed

to be filed

to be filed

to be filed

K ... K ... K


In the midst of this triumphal song

my soul starts singing at this moment of death,

I think of you once more

and want to unbosom myself to you,

as much as possible.

Everything else on earth,

the whole and the lonely,

I've totally overcome within my heart.

Yes, it is true:

I've cheated on you,

or rather,

I've cheated on myself,

but as I've told you a thousand times

that I won't survive this,

I'm giving you now,

by taking leave of you,

the proof of it.

I've exchanged you with another woman friend,

but if this is of any comfort to you,

not with one who wants to live with me,

but who, sensing that I won't be true to her either,

like I wasn't true to you,

wants to die with me.

I can't tell you more,

my relationship to the lady doesn't permit it.

Only know that much:

that my soul, by being touched by hers,

has wholly ripened to death,

that I've measured all the splendour

of the human soul within hers,

and I die because on earth,

there remains nothing for me to learn or acquire.


[letter to Marie von Kleist, 19 Nov. 1811]

in pairs - and not a word!

good morning, Frl. von Kleist

good morning, Frl. von Kleist

I cannot die,

feeling as content and gay as I feel now,

without having reconciled with the whole world,

and therefore, before all others, my dear Ulrike,

without having reconciled with you too.

Really, what you've done for me

was beyond the forces of a sister,

but within the forces of a human being,

in order to save me.

The truth is:

on earth, no one could help me.

And now farewell.

May ...

Heaven ...

grant you ...

a death ...

with only ...

half of the joy ...

and ...

inner serenity ...

resembling mine.


near Potsdam,

on the morning


of my death.



[letter to Ulrike von Kleist, 21. Nov. 1811]

more coffee!


more coffee!

That's Madame.


and now you can help me get dressed


don't bother, Heinrich

I'm embarrassed

the robe

afterwards the lady and the gentleman came down,

paid the bill

and when I enquired if they would be here for lunch

they refused.

then we'll have a much better appetite for dinner

won't you have a nice cup of broth?

with pleasure

in the evening the guests ...

when two people say the same thing

they'll stay together for another year

as the saying goes

on the morning of my death

how many are there today?

good morning

how late is it?

it's half past eight

I must know the exact time

the bell will ring right now

you see

thank you

it's half past eight


on the morning of my death

the landlord isn't in?

they've both gone out

can I do something for you, sir?

how late is it?

I don't have a watch

it must be about 11

like the Persian king's bride,

anointed with oil,

when she is led to his chamber,

pouring down over all his carpets

what a weird phrase

It's from a play.

[Kthchen of Heilbronn]

a play?

oh my!

on the morning of my death

how late is it?

past 12

then the messenger's been here already?

yes, just now.

Did you want to send a message?

no, not really


you can still see him ride off

from your room

on the morning of my death

that Vogel woman in this tragedy,

like some stupid accident


I shall never get married.

You be a wife to me,

my children, grandchildren.

Besides, after the remarks I made earlier,

I claim

that between the two,

there existed a sympathy of souls and a spiritual love,

and that both considered the dissolution

of their bodies as the highest good

and strove towards it.

The Lieutenant of the Royal Guards Regiment

Herr von Kleist

the former Lieutenant

my dear Kleist

I brought new sheet music

I used to sing this as a child

go on, play something

sing something

[Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier]

# I lay in deepest deadly night

# you were my sun

# the sun which brought me

# light, life, joy and bliss

# O sun, you've prepared within me

# the dear light of faith

# how beautiful are your rays.

you may have her, if you like

I cede her to you

that wasn't necessary

# take away the straw,

take away the hay

# I want to gather some flowers

# for my Saviour to rest upon them

# upon sweet violets

# with roses, carnations, rosemary

# from beautiful gardens I shall ...

# bestrew him from above

this is so beautiful

one could shoot oneself

it is

isn't it

so dead

what is death?

it's like sleeping

only much more beautiful

much much more beautiful

it's an incurable disease

Vogel has been finding me repugnant

since two years

he'd be glad to get rid of me

that was the reason for his act

forget about it

now I distinguish neither colours nor shapes

and now all lies in darkness below me

[Prinz Friedrich von Homburg]

it takes more diligence

I don't have that

hue ... blue ... bluer

one ... mine ... his

yours ... new ... his

Napoleon stood here

the Austrians advanced

but there wasn't any snow

no, it was in May

pardon me

I'm sorry

you were there

I was

but you didn't fight

no, we just came ... we

we took a walk across the battlefield


Dahlmann and I

I met Heinrich Kleist in 1809 shortly before

the outbreak of the war between France and Austria

he didn't know what to do with himself

in this Napoleonic world

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Helma Sanders-Brahms

Helma Sanders-Brahms (20 November 1940 – 27 May 2014) was a German film director, screenwriter and producer. more…

All Helma Sanders-Brahms scripts | Helma Sanders-Brahms Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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