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Richter, Roland Suso 1961-

RICHTER, Roland Suso 1961-

PERSONAL: Born 1961, in Marburg, Germany.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Dimension Films/Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013.

CAREER: Director, producer, and writer. Film work includes (director, unless otherwise noted) Überfluessig, 1982; (and editor) Kolp, 1983; Nur Frauen, kein Leben, 1985; (editor) Der Krieg meines Vater, 1985; (unit manager) Land der Vater, Land der Sohne, 1988; Dagobert, 1994; 14 Tage lebenslaenglich, Nil Film Art and Entertainment, 1997; (and producer) Sara Amerika, 1999; After the Truth, Helkon, 1999; Eine Handvoll Gras, Bavaria Film International, 2000; Der Tunnel, 2000; and The I Inside, Miramax, 2003. Work as television director includes Alles ausser Mord—Mann im Mond, 1993; Svens Geheimnis, 1994; Polizeiruf 10—Samstags, wenn Krieg ist, 1994; DasPhantom—Die Jagd nach Dagobert, 1994; Alles ausser Mord—Im Namen der Nelke, 1994; Risiko Null—Der Tod steht auf dem Speiseplan, 1995; Buddies—Leben auf der Ueberholspur, 1997; and Die Bubi Scholz Story, 1998.

AWARDS, HONORS: Youth Video Prize, 1986, for Kolp; Erich Kaestner Prize and Banff Television Festival Rocky Award, both 1996, both for Seven's Secret; Bavarian Television Award, 1998, for The Bubi Scholz Story; Bavarian Television Award, Coachella Valley Festival of Festivals Best Overall Film Award, Montreal World Film Festival People's Choice Award, St. Louis International Film Festival Audience Choice Award and International Film Award, all 2001, and Portland International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film, 2002, all for Der Tunnel.

WRITINGS:

Sara Amerika (screenplay), Helkon Media AG, 1999.

Also composer for Kolp, 1983.

SIDELIGHTS: In addition to his extensive work as a director, German filmmaker Roland Suso Richter wrote the screenplay for his 1999 film Sara Amerika. The latter is an ensemble piece involving four characters whose lives converge in the exuberant, chaotic atmosphere of Germany in the early 1990s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the country. Pervading the story, however, is the image of another country, referred to in the title: the film actually begins in the real-life Saxon town of Amerika, and concludes in America itself.

Sara of the title has grown up in East Germany, but is the daughter of a black American soldier she never met. She leaves her hometown, where she works in a factory, and travels to Berlin for an abortion. There she meets a fast-talking city boy named Jo, who in turn introduces her to Hans. Hans, a German who has worked as interpreter for the U.S. Army in Berlin for fourteen years, thinks of himself as an American even though he has never visited the United States. The three friends eventually are joined by a fourth, Stanislav, who they meet in what was once the Soviet sector of East Berlin.

Eventually the ensemble ends up in the United States for what Lisa Nesselson of Variety described as a "farfetched" ending to the movie; however, she concluded, the film's "emotional truth feels spot-on." Nesselson also called Sara Amerika a "haunting, playfully structured" story.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

PERIODICALS

Variety, February 13, 1985, review of Kolp, p. 19; November 15, 1999, Lisa Nesselson, review of Sara Amerika, p. 92.*

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