Documentary Series


a series by Susanne Abel

a produktion of LICHTBLICK FILM
in commission of ARD-Werbung and Das Erste

Digi Beta / 16 x 24 Minutes / Stereo / Color

Ten young women take a trip back in time to a boarding school for home economics in which the spirit of the 1950s still lives on.  Suddenly the group of contemporary 17 to 23-yr.-olds find themselves in the strictly regimented world of their grandmothers. In six weeks they will learn everything they need to know to be “perfect brides and housewives”. The curriculum comprises waxing and polishing, conjugal hygiene and childrearing – a typical course of study for well-bred young women vintage 1958.  In the living history series “The School for Brides” no one is acting and no one speaks from a prepared script. Together, pupils, teaching staff and Madame Directress hazard an experiment: they reenact the bridal finishing school of yore exactly according to original curriculum and accepted mores of the day. And they are not for the faint of heart: cold showers are exhilarating; heavy physical labor helps you sleep well; rolling stuffed cabbage promotes humility – boarding school life in 1958 was harsh and inflexible. But there are also coveted hours of unsupervised free time in the local milk bar, where the opportunity to get contraband such as cigarettes and chocolate to smuggle back into the school presents itself.  These items are equally verboten as skin cream and deodorant – not to mention sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.  

writer/director: Susanne Abel
producer/development by: Carl-Ludwig Rettinger
commissioning editor: SWR - Stefanie Groß
executive producer: WDR mediagroup - Elke Kimmlinger
line producer: Hartwig König
DoP: Max Rheinländer, Marcus Winterbauer
editor: Wolfram Kohler, Petra Heymann
sound by: Paul Oberle
production designer: Jörg Höhn
costume designer: Cornelia Blasczyk
casting by: Heidrun Seeger, Rainer Kling
music by:
Michael Klaukien, Andreas Lonardoni

16.12.2008 to 22.01.2009 by Das Erste