Starring:Juliane Köhler as Katrine Evensen Myrdal,
Liv Ullmann as Ase Evensen,
Sven Nordin as Bjarte Myrdal,
Ken Duken as Sven Solbach,
Julia Bache-Wiig as Anne Myrdal,
Rainer Bock as Hugo,
Thomas Lawincky as Kahlmann,
Klara Manzel as Young Katrine Evensen,
Vicky Krieps as Kathrin Lehnhaber,
Dennis Storhøi as Lawyer Hogseth,
Ursula Werner as Hiltrud Schlömer,
Jürgen Rißmann as Detective Lattoch
As the Berlin Wall crumbles, Katrine, the daughter of a
Norwegian woman and a German occupation soldier, finds
her idyllic life disrupted as she refuses to testify a
trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of her
fellow "war children."
Two Lives (German: Zwei Leben) is a 2012 German drama
film written and directed by Georg Maas, and starring
Juliane Kohler, with Liv Ullmann. Set in Norway and
Germany, it is loosely based on an unpublished novel by
Hannelore Hippe since released as Ice Ages. The film
explores the history of the Lebensborn or war children,
born in Norway and raised in Germany. It explores the
lives of a grown woman who had claimed to have escaped
from East Germany, where she was raised, and her
Norwegian mother, with whom she is reunited.
The Film won The Grand Prize and the BIFF Award
for the Best Film at the Biberach Independent
Film Festival, the Audience Award at the
International Filmfest Emden, and was nominated
for the International Debut Award at the
Göteborg International Film Festival. The film
was selected in 2013 as the German entry for the
Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy
Awards, and made the January shortlist.
It is based on an unpublished novel, Ice Ages, by German
author Hannelore Hippe. (It has since been published.)
She was inspired by reports in the late 1980s of the
discovery of the half-burned body of a young woman near
Bergen, and there was speculation as to her identity.
This was just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and
reunification of Germany.
The film gradually unravels the story of Katrine Evensen
Myrdal (Kohler), a happily married woman with a grown
daughter and granddaughter, and of her mother Ase
Evensen (Ullmann). Katrine is known to have escaped from
East Germany and made her way to Norway as a young woman
to be reunited with her birth mother, Ase Evensen.
The film explores the cases of Lebensborn or war
children, born from unions between German
soldiers and Norwegian women, who were taken
away after birth to be raised in Germany. Some
were adopted by German families; others raised
in orphanages. Both societies had shunned the
Lebensborn children and their mothers after the
war; in Norway, women known to have had
relationships with Germans during the Occupation
were sometimes incarcerated in work camps. In
East Germany, some war children were recruited
by the Stasi as agents. Given false identities,
they "escaped" to Norway as adults to be
reunited with their birth mothers, claiming
places of war children and serving as spies.
Reportedly there are still such Lebensborn
agents in Norway who have not been discovered.