Aimée, Jaguar and Gender Melancholia

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This article examines Max Färberböck's first feature film, Aimée & Jaguar: Eine Liebe grer größer der Tod/Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Larger than Death (1999), to consider various ways the female protagonists subvert and/or encourage a range of melancholic readings (Freud, the Mitscherlichs, Butler). The filmic retelling of the true love story set in 1940s Berlin between an Aryan wife and mother of four and an underground Jewish lesbian, who eventually perishes under the National Socialist regime, displays a melancholic mise-en-scène, editing style and plot via its flashback to the story of one true/lost love. This article examines the traditional understanding of melancholia alongside various ideas relating to screened lesbianism, including femmeinisation, lesbian narcissism and Judith Butler's theory of gender melancholia, to offer a more upbeat, albeit controversial, re-reading of the film.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in European Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Jewish status
  • lesbianism
  • melancholia
  • narcissism
  • German film
  • Second World War


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