Von Trotta preps Hildegarde biopic

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Hildegarde of Bingen, one of the most important figures of the medieval Catholic Church, will be the subject of the new film by German director Margarethe von Trotta.

The 12th century abbess became world renowned for her medical, botanical and geological writings as well as for the music she composed, which many consider a precursor to opera.

Bingen also was a controversial figure, the first woman to write on the subject of female sexuality and, for many, the world's first feminist.

Trotta is no stranger to strong female characters. Her 2003 drama "Rosenstrasse," about the wives of Jewish husbands who saved their spouses from the Nazi death camps, won the Volpi Cup in Venice for lead actress Katja Riemann.

Trotta will produce the Hildegarde biopic through her Clasart Film shingle with longtime partner Concorde. Shooting is set for late summer with a release planned for 2008.
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