Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: Germany/Czech Republic
Run Time: 100 minutes

Critics have lauded LEA as a modern fairy tale. But is it a latter-day Cinderella - or Bluebeard? Slovak peasant girl Lea has seldom spoken aloud since age seven, when she witnessed her mother's fatal beating by a bestial husband. Secretly she creates soaring poems and heartfelt artwork in tribute to her lateparent, but to Lea's rustic stepparents she's little more than a village idiot. Then Strehlow, a monied, middle-aged German craftsman, "buys" Lea as his bride, and installs the reluctant hausfrau in his workshop in rural Bavaria. Even among his countrymen Strehlow is the subject of rumors nad whispers; he has a skeleton (a real one) in an alcove, a previous wife in his photo album, and practices shooting human-shaped targets. Their antagonism grows, and soon Lea mush be chained to the bed to sleep with this enemy. Will her short life end the way her mother's did? Or is there a chance . . . Lea, we understand, is based on an actual woman; LEA is a foreboding drama of damaged souls reaching out to each other. Either way, she will linger in your mind for a long, long, time. (In Slovakian and German with English subtitles)

Ivan Fila

Ivan Fila

Ivan Fila, Herbert Rimbach

Vladimir Smutny

Ivana Davidova

Principal Cast
Lenka Vlasakova, Christian Redl, Hanna Schygulla, Mirolav Donutil, Udo Kier

Film Contact
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