Coup de Grace : Summary

Length: 97 Min. Format: 35mm b/w

Premiere: 22.10.1976, Hamburg, Frankfurt/Main, Cologne (FBW "especially valuable")

German Film Award 1977: Film Ribbon in Gold (Direction/Cinematography),
IFF Neapel 1976 (Premio Vittorio De Sica)

The Baltic states, 1919. A civil war divides the country. Sophie (Margarethe von Trotta), a woman in her late 20s, is living in the Baltic castle Kratovice. Sophie's brother Konrad (Rüdiger Kirschstein) and his friend Erich von Lhomond (Matthias Habich) arrive with a horde of volunteers of various nationalities who invade Kratovice like an occupation army. Sophie falls in love with the Prussian officer Erich von Lhomond, who has hired himself out as a mercenary soldier to "defend the Western World against the Bolsheviks". She is not afraid of openly admitting her love to him. The legionnaire shrinks away from such an ostentatious confession of love. With her ego humiliated and her honesty deceived, she begins to randomly choose lovers amongst the officers: a game that Erich von Lhomond heartbrokenly observes. Lhomond completely devotes himself to the most unimportant, meaningless military actions. Sophie ultimately abandons the castle and defects to the rebels. When Erich's squad arrests rebels, among them Sophie, she demands that her execution be carried out by Erich, personally.