09 20 Oct '24
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Roman Hüben

Douglas Sirk - Hope as in Despair

Edition 2023
76' - 2022 - Historical, Drama, Documentary - Dialogue: German, French, English
Director: Roman Hüben Composer: Martin Perret With: Douglas Sirk, Hanna Schygulla, Todd Haynes
The documentary Douglas Sirk: Hope as in Despair lovingly reveals how Douglas Sirk, the master of modern melodrama, turned his deepest scars into cinematic art.
With colourful classics like All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Imitation of Life (1959), Douglas Sirk's melodramas are far from guilty pleasures. In 1950s Hollywood, he elevated what some thought to be an inferior genre to compelling art. Carol director Todd Haynes - alongside many others - is in awe of Sirk's touch. Douglas Sirk: Hope as in Despair gives long-time and fresh admirers not a dry lesson in film history, but an intimate look into the personal story and restless character of Sirk, father of flamboyant tearjerkers ánd father figure for Rock Hudson and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This tender documentary reveals how the Hamburg-born filmmaker escaped from the clutches of Nazi Germany with his Jewish wife Hilde and became estranged from his only child. Like his work, Sirk's life was marked by inner tragedy.
An investigative portrait of the master of cinematic melodrama, Douglas Sirk. His life was the ultimate melodrama, from which all his films were inspired. [...] We discover his world and his story, marked by hope and disillusionment, by death and, of course, by love.

Image gallery

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Roman Hüben


Martin Perret


Douglas Sirk, Hanna Schygulla, Todd Haynes


Roman Hüben

Director of Photography

Mathieu Gaudet


Marylou Vergez


Nicola Genni

Production studios

PiCfilm SA

More information


German, French, English

Countries of production

Switzerland, France




Roman Hüben
Villa Ventura (short, 2017), Douglas Sirk - Hope as in Despair (2022)

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