Ganz so leicht muß es auch nicht sein (It Doesn't Have to Be Quite that Easy) Die Besten im Westen 52/43 min. Arte/ SWR/ WDR 2004/ 2008
From the moment Elke Heidenreich started her program Read! in 2003 she was considered the most influential woman in the German literature scene. "This is not the kind of program German television dreams about," she said when she received the "Bambi" TV award. Sixty years old at the time, she was neither at an age to begin a television career, nor did she fit the medium's usual beauty standards. And her ideas certainly didn't promise huge audience ratings. But every book that she had enjoyed reading and then recommended to her viewers landed on or near the top of the German bestseller list within a week. Her decades as a critic, moderator and writer had gained her credibility. Her own books — among them Kolonien der Liebe (Colonies of Love), Der Welt den Rücken (With the back to the World), and Nero Corleone — also became bestsellers. Her hilarious impersonation of her fictional character Else Stratmann made her a female pioneer of that genre in German television. As a combative moderator of talk shows like Live or Leute (People) she introduced an entirely different tone into the German television landscape. The subtitle It Doesn't Have to Be Quite that Easy is a quote from Elke Heidenreich's favorite band "Element of Crime." Neither did she have an easy childhood and adolescence, nor was it easy to assert herself as a writer. She only wrote her first book of short stories — Colonies of Love — at the age of fifty. While always at ease in front of the camera, she often served heavy stuff to her audience. The differentiation between light and serious entertainment never interested this opera lover and literature expert. The film shows the many facets of a journalist and author who remained independent, incorruptible, and curious — she still never shies away from new adventures.