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Sing! Inge, sing!

Inge brandenburg's broken dream

Jazz in Germany had a voice: Inge Brandenburg. Raised in difficult circumstances, used to standing on her own two feet at an early age, suddenly celebrated as the best European jazz singer at the end of the 1950s, compared to Billie Holiday by Time Magazin, carried around on her hands by musicians - and ignored and (unsuccessfully) reduced to pop hits by the German record industry. A woman's fate in the 1950s and 60s, a time when there was no place in Germany for self-confident women with trans-regional dreams, with a dramatic style of interpretation and an emancipated eroticism.

Years ago, at a Munich flea market, collector Thomas Rautenberg accidentally discovered an old photo album with pictures of an attractive woman who was completely unknown to him. It was Germany's deceased number one jazz singer, Inge Brandenburg (1929-1999).


Together with Marc Boettcher, he immersed himself in a life full of privations, longings and excesses. In this way, not only was an unjustly forgotten star rediscovered, but at the same time an important piece of German contemporary and cultural history was told.

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Cinema version, 120 min: World premiere,

Filmfest Emden 06/16/2011 - theatrical release 10/25/2011

First broadcast date on NDR television: 06/04/2013

First broadcast date ARTE version, 58 min: "The German Lady Jazz - Inge Brandenburg" on 12/05/2012.

Awards and nominations:

- Nominated for the Adolf Grimme Award 2013 

- German Record Critics' Award 

  2012 Best List for DVD and Soundtrack respectively

- Documentary of the month March 2011

- Prädikat Wertvoll by Filmbewertungsstelle Wiesbaden, Jurybegründung, 4.3.2011: Inge Brandenburg was an exceptional artist to whom this film sets a wonderful monument.


(...) Along the way, a small cultural history of popular music in post-war Germany is also carried out here using the example of Inge Brandenburg, with the Germans' lack of interest in good jazz and the constant lure of pop commercialism being the leitmotifs. But it also tells the tragic story of an extremely complex and contradictory woman who stood up for her kind of music so uncompromisingly that she ultimately had to fail, and not just commercially. And yet the film is not depressing, because again and again one sees and hears Inge Brandenburg singing jazz - and she does this with such intense joy in the performance that it becomes palpable that she must have been a happy person, at least in the moments when she had a microphone in front of her.

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(world premiere 06/16/2011)