Catching Fire: The Story of Anita Pallenberg – Co-directors Alexis Bloom & Zvetlana Zill

For many Anita Pallenberg was at many points in her life a newspaper headline: a “rock n’ roll goddess,” a “voodoo priestess,” and an “evil seductress.” She was accused of trying to break up the Rolling Stones, among other things. What is made clear in co-directors Alexis Bloom & Svetlana Zill’s compelling documentary CATCHING FIRE: THE STORY OF ANITA PALLENBERG those who loved her considered her an exciting cultural force, and a loving mother – and innocent of the accusations. The film includes never-seen-before home movies and family photographs explore life with the Rolling Stones and tell a bittersweet tale of both triumph and heartbreak. From Barbarella to the Swiss Alps, and the Lower East Side to London, Anita Pallenberg was a creative force ahead of her time. CATCHING FIRE: THE STORY OF ANITA PALLENBERG is a vital portrait of the charismatic and fierce rock ‘n’ roller, actress, muse, and mother who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s after a chance encounter with the Rolling Stones. Scarlett Johansson voices Anita (based on the words of her unpublished memoir) and the film includes her children, Marlon and Angela Richards, and their father, Keith Richards. Co-directors Alexis Bloom & Zvetlana Zill join us to talk about setting out to give voice, figuratively and literally, to a spirited woman who lived many lives in one lifetime. Working with producer and son of Anita and Keith Richards, Marlon, together they have succeeded brilliantly.


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About the filmmaker – Director Alexis Bloom was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in New York. In her early career, she produced widely for the National Geographic Channel, and for BBC World. She also produced extensively for PBS Frontline and NOVA.  In 2014, Alexis won the Producers Guild of America Award for We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, a feature documentary for Universal Pictures, also nominated for a BAFTA Award. In 2017, she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, and an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking (Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, for HBO.) Alexis directed, Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2019. Alexis’ films have shown in film festivals around the world: the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride, Toronto, and the New York Film Festival to name a few. 

About the filmmaker – Director Svetlana Zill is a filmmaker born and raised in New York City. She has worked as a producer for some of the most renowned documentarians of our time including Alex Gibney, Errol Morris, and Morgan Spurlock. She began her career as an archival researcher on Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story and Mike Mills’ Beginners and worked as a consulting producer for the Academy Award nominated Cutie and the Boxer, which also won an Emmy. Her work explores an impressive range of subjects that include vast CIA conspiracies, eccentric sports fans, pop culture icons and fine artists, and has been presented by HBO, Showtime, Netflix, PBS and The New York Times. CATCHING FIRE is Svetlana’s directorial debut. 


“The radiant and compelling Pallenberg finally gets her due as a creative force in her own right, a woman of alluring beauty, intelligence, dysfunction, addiction, and yes, an important figure in the world of the Stones at their apex.” – Matthew Carey, Deadline Hollywood Daily

“A fascinating, not-quite-complete portrait of a worldly but unschooled woman with talents finding her way into a life that offered her something more than “housewife” in an age when women’s “power” was too often defined by their allure.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“All in all, this documentary has a perfect balance of heart, soul and humor that resonates within its core and just makes for some informative viewing.” – Richard Schertzer, Battle Royale With Cheese