Laocoon & Sons

The Story of the transformation of Esmeralda del Rio

Germany 1972/73, 16mm, b/w, 50 minutes

Fairy tales are coming — Fairy tales are here to stay
I am a picture — I am a fairy tale.
And this is the sound of music
This is Laocoon and Sons — Laocoon and Sons is a story for all seasons.
One or two or three or hundred voices tell this story
For the pleasure of your eyes and ears.
These are women's voices.

Once upon a time there was a country known by the name of Laura Molloy.
Laura Molloy was the name of this country. Only women lived in Laura MolloyEsmeralda del Rio was a woman. One day Esmeralda del Rio had the idea to undergo a series of transformations, which were to take her very far.
So far did she go that she had no way of knowing how far she had gone.
Two things were certain: Esmeralda del Rio was blond and in her own way she practiced a kind of magic which I would like to call 'blond magic'. – Excerpt from the script

This first film already contains many of the elements that reappear in Ulrike Ottinger's later films: an extraordinary woman, an unusual country and a chain of magic transformations that gives rise to a series of eccentric character depictions. This notion of transformation, taken from Virginia Woolf's Orlando, which contains the idea of death and destruction as well as resurrection, remains an important theme. The film was first shown in 1975 in Berlin. – Ulrike Ottinger

Cast & Crew


Ulrike Ottinger


Chiquita Brook (aka Xavier Arroyuelo), Ulrike Ottinger

Costume / Make-Up

Tabea Blumenschein und andere

Esmeralda del Rio,
Olimpia Vincitor,
Linda MacNamara,
Jimmy Junod

Tabea Blumenschein

and many more

Supported by Irene Weitz and Adelheid Westphal

March 27, 1975, Arsenal, Berlin

Bruxelles Filmfestival des Femmes 1977
Rotterdam 1978
Aperto 80 Biennale di Venezia and many more

Go back