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During World War II, Kristina Söderbaum came to represent, for the German people, an ideal woman: the embodiment of strength and beauty, as well as a paragon of fidelity and sacrifice. Immensee stars Söderbaum as Elisabeth, a woman in love with Reinhardt, a brilliant composer (Carl Raddatz), but who instead marries someone more reliable (Paul Klinger). Years later, Reinhardt returns, and Elisabeth has a chance to be true to her one greatest love.
In The Great Sacrifice, Söderbaum is Äls, a goddess of a woman who captures the heart of a married man Albrecht (Raddatz). When Äls falls victim to a serious illness, Albrect's loyal wife (Irene von Meyendorff) sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of her husband. Filmed in the rich, warm hues of the Agfacolor process (exquisitely restored by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung), both films are heavy with mood, highlighted by feverish dream sequences that give sublime visual expression to the character's overwrought emotions.