Gitte Haenning

Reviews of the film


"Don't miss it! - You don't have to be a fan to enjoy Boettcher's two-hour film. The director succeeds, thanks in part to refreshing use of split screen, in creating a dynamic trip through nearly half a century of German pop culture history."


In the ladies' room at the Stadthalle, shortly after the film about Gitte Haenning: two women wipe their tears. "That was so great. It brought back so many memories," says one of them. Suddenly, Gitte Haenning is standing in front of the mirror, and she too has to fix her makeup. Because she, too, had tears in her eyes when she first saw the film "Ich will alles - die Gitte Haenning Story" in Lübeck. "Director Marc Boettcher did a great job," says the petite singer, who had come to the film screening all in camouflage. What's it like to see yourself as a picture-perfect young woman on screen? "Oh, not easy. But that's the way it is," she says, shrugging her shoulders and rushing off to the next press appointment.


Gitte Haenning. We know that the Dane also makes jazz, but still stick to her the cowboy she would like to have as a husband, all the hits with Rex Gildo and finally the strong-woman songs like "Ich will alles" and "Jetzt erst recht". In the two-hour documentary it becomes clear how versatile Gitte Haenning was in more than five decades, after she was already made a child star by her father at the age of eight. Whenever she was at the top, she reinvented herself: recorded records with jazz greats, acted in films, danced in musicals. The way she sings "Stormy Weather" at the tender age of 15 - it gives you goosebumps. Director Marc Boettcher ("The Bert Kaempfert Story") succeeds in creating a differentiated view of the artist's life by mixing current statements with older Gitte interviews and statements from parents, her sister, ex-friends and colleagues. At 80, Gitte told a friend, she wants to sit at the bar with a glass of whiskey in her hand and sing "Stormy Weather". Too bad you have to wait another 20 years for that."

A touching film about the more than 50-year career of the changeable artist. At the end, there were tears in Gitte's eyes: "Great job."


"Marc Boettcher clearly has a knack for film biographies of stars in the music industry, as he impressively proved with his film "Strangers in the Night" about Bert Kaempfert, which we have already presented to you. Last year, Boettcher presented "Ich will alles", the intimate biography of an extraordinary singer: Gitte Hænning. The characterful, beautiful and outrageously talented woman from the Danish town of Århus allowed the sensitive director a glimpse of the dangerous roller coaster of an eventful, turbulent career and her dramatic life with all its ups and downs - and Marc Boettcher drew a sympathetically honest picture of Gitte Hænning. In several interviews made for this film and compiled from earlier television productions, the artist, now 62 years old, family members, friends and colleagues express themselves very openly on both sides of the shimmering coin. Marc Boettcher unsparingly shows the predominantly dark, oppressive side, despite all the apparent glamour. However, the woman, whose life is carefully reappraised here, wins out in the process. Very quickly it becomes clear that Gitte Hænning's real talent was never allowed to unfold, her late energetic assertion remained contractually half-hearted: it is and always was jazz that was her true strength. Taken in by the German pop business because of her youthful freshness and forced to sing countless awful tralala songs and marketed below value, what she was really capable of remained unpromoted.

Early and rare Danish recordings of TV shows, film clips and original soundtracks of her early years prove with "Stormy Weather", "Night and Day" and "Basin Street Blues", among others, what was in her: a jazz singer of international stature. Her relationship with the world-class Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, which lasted several years, nurtured her inclination towards jazz. Later recordings with the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band, with whom she was lured back into a German contract, also attest to her jazz talent. The Danish child star time of the 50s and the German Schlager time with, among others, Rex Gildo as a "dream partner" in the 60s were followed by a career break at the beginning of the 70s. With a change of direction to chanson, the energetic singer managed to regain her old popularity and earlier successes in the 80s. The collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber gave new impetus. 

After failed marriages and partnerships, professional failures, unsteady life with residences in Copenhagen, Munich, Rome, Berlin, among others, late a Golden Camera and a Golden Record rewarded her iron will not to give up, to find her own way."


"...Even though the Nordic Film Days is a decidedly serious event, it cannot be denied that the visit of the extremely popular Gitte Hænning is a glamorous highlight and the cinema hall is filled to bursting point. The good-humored audience also gets their money's worth, because Marc Boettcher's nearly two-hour film, with the help of numerous interviews and excerpts from old documentaries, presents a simultaneously dynamic and multifaceted picture of the singer, who had her breakthrough as early as 1954 and became a child star. (...) Today, one could wish that Gitte had sung less German Schlager and more jazz over the years, because the film reminds us what an outstanding singer she actually is - for example, in a scene in which she is accompanied on the piano by Andrew Lloyd Webber himself."


""Ich will Alles" reveals that Gitte Hænning used to have a relationship with the now deceased bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and in general this entertaining film, which does not just uncritically praise its main character but shows both her positive and negative sides, combines the private with the professional. She herself has no problem with this at all, and when she was honored with a long standing ovation after the world premiere in Lübeck, she was moved to tears."


"The best thing about "I Want Everything" are the scenes from movies and TV shows that Boettcher has dug up. There, Gitte sings "My World Is Music," and you see what a great jazz performer she could have become."