Entertainment Weekly - 09/01/2000
"...Unusual (and true)....A matter-of-fact embrace of the unconventional..." -- Rating: B+
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2001
"...Fascinating....The film has some wonderful things in it....AIMEE & JAGUAR presses all the right keys..."
Total Film - 05/01/2001
"...Subtly played by the two leads, it's a persuasive piece of history..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/11/2000
"...AIMEE & JAGUAR is about falling in love, the power of love....Watching it in this emotionally powerful film makes you feel like you've never quite seen it before....It gathers strength and integrity as it goes along..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 08/28/2000
"...This is the kind of story that has to be true; as fiction, it would not be believable..."
In 1943, as World War II's Battle of Berlin rages, with air raids forcing families into their cellars for shelter and bombs exploding all over the city, Felice Schragenheim (Juliane Köhler) and Lilly Wust (Maria Schrader), fall in love. Director Max Färberböck's AIMEE & JAGUAR tells the true story of this passionate, forbidden love affair, adapted from the 1998 book of the same title by Erica Fischer.
Felice, a dark and beautiful Jewish woman who is constantly in danger of being apprehended by the Gestapo, works for a Nazi newspaper under a false name, feeding what she learns to underground resistance leaders. Lilly, a flowery blond housewife living in bourgeoise comfort, raises 4 little boys, passing the time until her Nazi husband, Gunther, returns from the war. When the two meet, and Felice makes advances, Lilly responds, falling into total submission under Felice's spell. They nickname each other Aimee (Lilly) and Jaguar (Felice), spending every night dancing to popular 40s jazz music with Felice's eccentric lesbian friends, and every day raising the four boys who treat Felice like a second mother. It is not until the end of their affair, when Lilly--and soon thereafter, the authorities--learns that Felice is a Jew, and tragedy befalls the couple.
Nazi Germany |
Theatrical Release |
True Story |
World War II
Theatrical release: August 11, 2000 (LA/NY).
Based on a true story, adapted from the book by Erica Fischer entitled AIMEE & JAGUAR: A LOVE STORY, BERLIN, 1943.
Recreating a realist 1940s Berlin, from the piles of schrapnel filling the streets, to 40s fashions in clothing, music, and decor, AIMEE & JAGUAR also has kitsch sequences such as the war scenes using a blood-red backdrop full of toy bomber planes, or a silly pornographic photo shoot in which the Jewish girls pose in lingerie for pocket money.
the film's narrative, starting with an aged Lilly in her nursing home and moving into a flashback that lasts the length of the movie, brings closure to a story with no known ending.