Luis Martinez

Updated Wednesday, January 24, 2024-9:30 p.m.

  • Interview Jonathan Glazer: "We still look too much like those who committed the Holocaust. And that terrifies us"

  • Review Anatomy of a Fall: The importance of a perfect script (*****)

  • Interview Justine Triet, the third woman with the Palme d'Or: "If a woman is strong, cultured and feminist, she is, by definition, guilty of whatever"

  • Review The area of ​​interest: A masterpiece built at the foot of the abyss (*****)

The job of an actress is basically not to be.

Or, in another way, in being other than what you really are, which is the most elegant, poetic and perhaps unintelligible way of letting the essence get lost in the hustle and bustle of existence thanks to the most vital and feverish of sacrifices.

Sandra Hüller (Suhl, Germany, 1978)

knows it.

Or at least she senses it.

And she knows it or intuits it since at the age of 17, because of a dedicated teacher, she decided to appear at the prestigious Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin.

She graduated and one of the first decisions that she made clear as a professional performer was that she would be capable of anything, of being anything, except a Nazi woman, which, in her opinion, is the worst way to not be. be.

If she is asked why, her answer is another question: "Would you perhaps wear a Nazi uniform?"

And there she leaves it.

Time has passed and Sandra Hüller has already been capable of everything, which is how an actress is essential and vocationally nothing.

And everything includes everything from Sissi empress in a film pending release by Frauke Finsterwalder to, right now, the two productions of the moment.

Her respective roles in

Justine Triet's

Anatomy of a Fall


Jonathan Glazer's

The Hot Spot

have put her one step away from making history.

If the obvious is confirmed, she would probably be the first actress to be the protagonist of two productions nominated for the Oscar for best film.

But not only that.

Thanks to the last of the aforementioned films, she is already even what she promised herself that she would never become.

Her role as

Hedwig Höss,

wife of Commander Rudolf in charge of the Auschwitz extermination camp, has made her, finally and radically, everything, even the worst way of being, which is the most absolute and perfect of the ways of, in effect, being nothing.

The sacred dream of an actress, without a doubt.

«I had to find a way to be her, but without empathizing with her at any time.

I was aware that I had to be able to do my job, but

without really interpreting the character...

I worked from the outside, from what I wanted to show," he explains in Berlin in reference to his toughest role, the one he promised himself not to do. , the definitive one perhaps.

The interview takes place moments before she, on the occasion of the European Film Awards (EFA), rehearses her status as a double nominee.

Let's say it's not the first time.

Already at the Cannes Festival she was crowned the protagonist of the Palme d'Or (


...) and the Grand Jury Prize

(The Zone...)


that is, the first and second prize.


Sandra Hüller in 'The zone of interest'.WORLD

"It was hard.

When we shot, I knew where we were.

Especially, as a German that I am.

We knew what it meant to be there.

I was especially moved by the welcoming gestures of the Polish team.

We always work from humility and I think that is seen in the film," she says now in reference to the setting in which the filming took place, which was none other than Auschwitz itself.

In fact, the set in which everything takes place was mounted on the other side of the extermination camp wall.

That's what director Glazer wanted, determined to recreate even the most obsessive illness, the most banal everyday life right next to horror.

The cameras were hidden and control of what was filmed was carried out in the basement of the house.

The actors were invited to act without references, without shouts of action and cuts.

They were literally spied on.

«We were very aware that there would never be a moment of tranquility.

I think about ceremonies like tonight's [referring to the Efa awards] to honor this work and I feel very uncomfortable.

But I think it was worth it, because it is very important to show that and make people feel the horror, that same horror.

My character, Hedwig Höss, decided to close her eyes to what was happening right next to her house.

And, in reality, that is exactly the same thing we do now here when we do not want to know anything about what is happening next door, on the very border of Europe.


«The film is not the story of a Nazi couple with the Holocaust as a canvas for a great emotional story.

Just thinking about it disgusts me.

The path of the film is different.

The banal and boring lives of people who only want to have a garden and a happy family without caring about what happens around them are shown.

And there we are all », she concludes in a thoughtful and perfectly rehearsed effort to explain to others and to herself why this time she did give life to a Nazi.

It would seem that all of Hüller's decisions are like that: thought out to the point of exhaustion.

If asked about the second film in dispute, his second work with Triet after his collaboration on

Sibyl's Reflection

in 2019, the precision of the answer leaves little room for doubt.

She says that in the same way that the viewer leaves the screening of the film without knowing whether her character in

Anatomy of a Fall

is guilty or innocent, she never received that information either.

«I tend to be very obsessive when working on a character.

I want to know everything about him.

But in this case, I didn't know the fundamentals.

It was a challenge to compose my role from the global perspective of the story, not from within, as I have done until now.

It is not clear if it is a film about a woman accused of killing her husband or if it is the story of a son whose mother is accused of killing her father.

In short, it is a film about the viewer's own imagination, about what each one is capable of thinking," she reasons, takes a second and concludes: "For this reason, because of its complexity, I think it is a truly feminist film. .

The word feminist is used in many ways.

And not all of them correct.

Sandra Hüller in 'Anatomy of a Fall'.WORLD

The one who speaks - to situate ourselves and to realize that, despite the urgency of the novelty, she has always been there - jumped onto the cinephile agenda when in 2006 she won the

Silver Bear

for best actress for her role on the edge in

Requiem (The Exorcism of Micaela),

his film debut.

In Hans-Christian Schmid's film, hers was a kind of jump without a net into the depths of a woman harassed by epilepsy and a thousand other torments of fire and fear.

It was an arid and abyssal job that made it clear how far an actress willing to do everything could go to be nothing more than nothing.

They say that in her performance of Hamlet for the theater she stayed on stage during the break so as not to lose concentration and to the surprise of an audience that accompanied her in her mute stillness rather than going to the bar or to stretch her legs. .

Pure gravity.

But not everything is torment.

When in 2016 she starred in Maren Ade's kamikaze comedy

Toni Erdman

, there would be no turning back.

The most intense could also be the most disruptive and wildly fun.

It is enough to remember the scene at the nudist party to know the true meaning of the word discomfort.

«In truth,

I think that every time I choose a role it is a kind of political choice or decision.

And that is always the case, whether or not your decision has to do with politics.

What's more, when you say to yourself: "I need a break and I'm going to do something easy that doesn't commit me, in reality that in itself is not an innocuous political decision. Of course, when I agree to do something, I do it completely and with all the consequences. The road to making the decision can be bumpy, but once it is made, nothing stands in the way... What we cannot lose sight of and have to be clear about is that cinema without risk and without people with a “A strong voice that dares to articulate it is nothing,” she states emphatically.

Hüller maintains that she learns from all the characters who pass through her;

that by dint of being all of them, each one with her peculiarities, ways, joys and vices, she has ended up being more of her.

«From Sandra [that's the name of the woman from


...] I want to think that I have inherited something from her audacity, her decision and her courage.

Although I think I still need a little more practice," she says.

And Hedwig?

What can be made clear about the character that she never wanted to do?

«The director and I talked a lot about this character.

And actually, the journey towards it has been very instructive.

The first question we asked ourselves about him is whether someone who can accept the death of millions of people that happens right next to his house can really love his children, his husband, his people... And I sincerely believe that can't.

He cannot love one part of humanity and wish death on the rest.

He is simply not compatible with one another.

That's what I learned and it works exactly for right now... The important thing is not to show what my character feels, but to show how much we have in common with her.

It is clear.

It would seem that the rigor and poise with which he organizes each of his ideas and convictions must necessarily come from a long time ago.

And even from deep inside.

Sandra Hüller was chosen as the best young actress of 2003 in the demanding German theater scene.

And since then she has only grown until perhaps reaching one of those scenes that, once contemplated, seems impossible to forget.

Hedwig shows her mother the garden fertilized with the ashes of the corpses.

Here, the roses;

a little further away, the gardenias lit.

Some barking is heard and, immediately afterwards, some gunshots.

The family dog ​​barks.

Hedwig gets angry because the pet ruins the walk.

Above the sky, the black smoke of the crematorium.

Not a gesture of remorse, not a tear.


It takes many lives to reach such a perfect void.

And the Oscars?

How do you prepare for what is to come? I can't say anything about that.

It's a system I don't understand.

I don't know their rules.

I don't know what to do to be visible and attract attention.

There are too many people involved and I can't say anything.

Hüller says that he found the unity demonstrated by the actors in the Hollywood strike admirable.

She also says that she is convinced that things change, that it is

"basic to have the freedom not to change your body or your face to adapt to male expectations

. "

And while she tells, she conspires to be nothing more than an actress, which is the most elegant way she has found to be another, to be everything and to be nothing.

"It is important to be who you want to be without submitting to being anyone's fantasy."

Well that.