by Angela Christlieb

A journey through the family universe of GW Pabst, giant of early cinema, told through the eyes of the woman who was his great love and lifelong partner: Trude Pabst. A film about dream and trauma, and about why we become who we are.



PANDORA’S LEGACY is a journey through the family universe of GW Pabst, giant of early German cinema. His films explore the radical transformations taking place in the roles of men and women, set against reactionary models. GW Pabst’s private and artistic partner on this voyage is Trude Pabst. She noted her dreams, thoughts and experiences on thousands of loose sheets of paper, now shared with an audience for the first time in this film.

Trude and Georg Wilhelm share an extraordinary love. But as head of the family, GW is a patriarch who wants to dictate the course of his wife’s life. The exchange of letters between the lovers bears witness to the conflicting standards of the 1920s, reflected in GW Pabst’s films and also in the couple’s relationship. A wide-ranging area of tension is revealed, encompassing deep spiritual kinship, conflicts about parenthood, body images and eroticism, chauvinism and rebellion against it.

The portrait of the family deepens as we meet Trude’s and GW’s grandchildren today: Marion, butterfly breeder and radical environmental activist, Daniel, art collector and composer, and Ben, dinosaur researcher, struggle with their grandparents‘ emotional legacy of gender, power and love. Their stories merge with Pabst’s film clips, the voice of Trude Pabst, diary entries, metaphorical images and surreal landscapes.

A film about dreams, trauma and why we are who we are.


  • DIAGONALE, Austrian Premiere of PANDORAS VERMÄCHTNIS at Diagonale – Festival for Austrian Film in Graz

  • International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (World Premiere)


A film by Angela Christlieb

with: Daniel Pabst, Marion Jaros, Ben Pabst, Heidi Pabst, Kasten de Riese, Chris Janka

Voices: Maresi Rieger, Ernst A. Grandits

Producers: Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Bady Minck

DOP: Max Berner, Additional Camera: Martin Putz

Editors: Angela Christlieb, Sebastian Schreiner

Sound Design: Max Liebich

Sound Mix: Georg Tomandl

Colors/Grading: Andi Winter

Composition: Daniel Pabst, Martin Siewert

Titels and Poster Design: Mieke Ulfig