Das Mal des Todes

The Stigma of Death

Peter Handke
A beautiful, nameless woman is hired to spend several days and nights with a man in his apartment. Not only does he want to sleep with her, but he is obsessed with the desire to look at her naked body. A philosophical dialogue develops between the man who relates his thoughts and writes them down and the woman who explains to him the causes of his 'lethal sickness'. After the woman has left, the narrator and observer, dressed in black, appears. It is Peter Handke, the poet. Film essay about the man - woman relationship: 'Peter Handke's most personal, most permissive and at the same time, most reserved film.' (profil, S. Löffler, July 22, 1985)
Technical Data
Running time: 65
Format: 35mm
Screen ratio: 1:1.66
Language spoken: German
Production year: 1985
Writer(s): Peter Handke (based on the short story La maladie de la mort by Marguerite Duras)
Cinematographer(s): Xaver Schwarzenberger
Key cast: Marie Colbin, Peter Handke
Producer: Kurt J. Mrkwicka
Cannes (Un certain régard)
Production company
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1130 Vienna
tel:+43 1 876 87 15
for ORF