The Woman and the Stranger

Director: Rainer Simon
Screenwriters: Rainer Simon

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


The Woman and the Stranger will remind some of The Return of Martin Guerre. This German version of a similar story is equally as profound and compelling as its French counterpart. Towards the end of World War II, two German POWs are virtually abandoned on a surreal and desolate landscape to dig an endless ditch. They escape, with one returning to the wife of his comrade. Gradually, they become “man and wife,” living out their love amidst the desolation and sorrow of war. Gate, s much as love, determine their life together, Rational emotion abandoned, they yield to their passion.

The Woman and the Stranger is an honest, terrifying and deeply human film about survival and compassion. In an enigmatic ending, the real husband returns. But the trio’s fate remains uncertain.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]