Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism

Die Dohnal - Frauenministerin / Feministin / Visionärin

Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism

Sabine Derflinger


Elected Minister of State for General Women’s Issues in 1979 under Bruno Kreisky and from 1990 until her involuntary departure in 1995 the first Austrian Minister for Women’s Affairs, Johanna Dohnal was a »European sensation«. Brought up in modest circumstances in Vienna, Dohnal fought tirelessly for women’s rights. Issues that are a matter of course today, such as child custody, laws against sexual harassment and the compatibility of work and family life, were all part of the political struggle of this figurehead of the equal rights movement.

Dohnal’s overall approach to work was holistic. Through direct contact with women and using creative, often humorous methods, Dohnal helped create a political climate that can still be felt today. Inspired by Dohnal’s approach, well-known film director and activist Sabine Derflinger presents a comprehensive portrait of a woman whose many qualities are highlighted by a variety of interview partners young and old. Derflinger’s desire to bring »Die Dohnal« back into the public consciousness is due not only to her own personal encounter with the feminist (Dohnal and her partner Annemarie Aufreiter attended the première of her film Vollgas), but also to the disastrous situation of Austria’s media landscape, »up to 80% of which is in conservative hands«, according to Derflinger. The resistance women film directors in Austria have demonstrated in their feature films and documentaries and in networking organisations has become a source of inspiration for film-makers in Germany.

In cooperation with Gleichstellungsbüro Dortmund


Director / Script

Sabine Derflinger


Christine A. Maier, Eva Testor


Niki Mossböck


Andreas Hamza, Georg Misch, Axel Traun,
Hjalti Bager-Jonathansson


Annemarie Aufreiter, Ingrid Dohnal, Helen Dohnal


Claudia Wohlgenannt, Sabine Derflinger, Plan C Filmproduktion


Derflinger Film



Porträt der Regisseurin Sabine Derflinger

Sabine Derflinger

Sabine Derflinger was born in the Austrian town of Wels in 1963. After studying screenwriting and dramaturgy in Vienna, she started writing, directing and producing numerous fiction and documentary films. Alongside her own feature films, she has directed Austrian and German crime series such as Tatort, Die Füchsin and other TV series, including Vorstadtweiber. Derflinger has won multiple prizes and awards for her films, including the Grimme Award in 2014.

Films by Sabine Derflinger
Die Dohnal – Frauenministerin/Feministin/Visionärin 2019 | Anna Fucking Molnar 2017 | Dämmerung über Burma 2015 | Tatort – Borowski und das Meer 2013 | Tatort – Falsch verpackt 2011 | Hotspot 2011 | Tag und Nacht 2010 | Eine von Acht 2008 | 42Plus 2007 | Schnelles Geld 2004 | Kleine Schwester 2004 | Vollgas 2001 | Die Rounder Girls 1999 | Achtung: Grenze 1996 | Geraubte Kindheit 1994
Es war einmal 1991