Sat 20:15 / Sun 17:00 / Feature film competition

Lady Macbeth

GB 2016 | 89 min | color | Original with German subtitles
R William Oldroyd
B Alice Birch
K Ari Wegner
S Nick Emerson
M Dan Jones
P Sixty Six Pictures, iFeatures / Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
D Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank, Golda Rosheuvel, Bill Fellows


England in the 19th century: Katherine is married off for financial reasons – to a wealthy mine owner twice as old as she is, who does not love her. On their country estate somewhere in the North English hill moor, the barely full-aged girl is nearly bored to death. Time and again, she sits by herself on a sofa wearing a blue garment, parked like a decorative object. Only late at night she is supposed to be up for the dull coitus serving the purpose of producing an heir. When her husband and her father in law are out of town, she engages in an affair with the virile stable boy and is not willing to give this new feeling of passion and freedom up again – she will stop at nothing.

For his cinema debut, theatre director William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskow’s novella “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” (known from Schostakowitsch’s opera) to England. Brutal cuts and increasingly lunatic speed stress the escalation dynamics of an emancipatory story getting out of control. Sympathy for a murderess? The phenomenal Florence Pugh masters this dichotomy in her title role: She turns “Lady Macbeth” into the most enthralling costume drama of the past years.

William Oldroyd
Born 1979 on London. He studied direction at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before he became director in residence at Young Vic Theatre in London in 2008. His first short film “Christ’s Dog” (2011) was on screen at the International Short Film Festival Hamburg. At Sundance London Film Festival, “Best” (2013) was awarded with the prize for the Best Short Film. “Lady Macbeth” is his first feature film.


Filmography (selected)
Christ’s Dog (2011)
Best (2013)
In Mid Wickedness (2013)