Patricia Kaas – Ma Vie/My Life

Patricia Kaas is one of the most successful French-speaking singers in the world. With her special mixture of pop music, jazz and chanson, she has sold more than 14 million records worldwide. With her album “Je te dis vous” she has made it to the top of Germany’s charts. This film is a portrait about a unique woman who is the figurehead of french chanson. For “Ma Vie” we visited Patricia Kaas in Zurich and Paris, two of the most significant places in her life.

Patricia Kaas – Ma Vie/My Life

Her mother got cancer and had one final wish: she wants to see her daughter on the very top. Hence Patricia Kaas knew for certain that “okay, you’ve got no time to waste. You just have to give that to her now.” From one producer to the next she went, pleaded with every radio-boss there was, did everything to fulfill her mother’s last wish. Result: she had tremendous success. Still has it today.

With 25 million records sold, numerous world tours, and appearances together with Michael Jackson and Plácido Domingo, Patricia Kaas represents one of the internationally most successful French careers. Her key to success: in her very own distinctive way she has developed the concept of the classic “chanson” further; it is a mixture of pop, rock, blues, and jazz – with which the singer is meeting applause internationally until this day. Oscillating between alto and mezzo soprano, her “smoky” voice is characterized by a subtle brittleness and contributes greatly to her convincing enactment on stage of the manifold moods of her songs. Always accompanied she is by a teddy bear given to her mother as a token of comfort during her illness.

“Ma vie – Patricia Kaas” is a moving und sensitive portrait of a global star who lost her mother early and has always longed for love, security, and a little extra self-confidence. Patricia Kaas is born youngest of seven children on Dec 5, 1966 in Stiring-Wendel, a small town between Forbach and Saarbrücken on the French side of the border. Joseph, her father, was a French coal miner, her mother Irmgard was German. Until the age of six Patricia speaks the German Saar dialect exclusively. Her efforts in favor of Franco-German relations, which gained her several awards already, e.g. the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic) and the “Adenauer-De Gaulle Award”, stem from her bi-national origin. From her childhood on she perceives herself as a commuter between different cultures. And she keeps breaking out … On her extended tours lasting up to eighteen months and amounting to more than two hundred concerts in twenty-five countries, Partricia Kaas is where she feels most comfortable: on stage.

The artist is most fascinating when performing live. Her convincing stage presence is an essential part of her success. For the audience she’s the strong woman with the mighty voice; in private, however, she requires close friendships in order to feel protected. The “French Madonna” does not attempt to cultivate her sexy image in the media or to stay on duty as an idol; rather she’d like to live just an ordinary life away from the stage. Her wish is, she says, to be allowed to retain her childhood. For “Ma Vie” Patricia Kaas has once again visited the places most important in the course of her life: her birthplace of Stiring-Wendel, her hometown of Saarbrücken, where her stage career began, and Paris, her present address and the city of her grand success. With a surprising frankness in front of the camera the star speaks about her life and its disruptions, about her beloved mother,
and about the most important thing of all: about the passion for music.

Director: Horst Mühlenbeck
Camera: Oliver Gurr
Sound: Anke Weiland
Editor: Christoph Senn
Line Producer: Thomas Fischer
Production: Reinhardt Beetz
Commissioning Editor: Ann-Christin Hornberger


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