Magdalena holds on to her husband, Stefan, with an iron grip. He on the other hand loves any woman who gives him encouragement. Magdalena, the wife, has the smiling role. Kirke is a discovery. She can do everything: turn men into pigs. Or seduce them. Kirke, the ideal woman2, is not oppressed. She does whatever she wants. And she won't be laughed at.
These five women describe five possible modes of behavior for women, each of whom wants to break out of her state of dependence. It becomes clear that solidarity between women is difficult to achieve when striving for freedom. However it is only solidarity, which will help women achieve more freedom. And the men in this film? They see women only as beautiful beings, who solve their problems with gossip.
02: For me personally Ula Stöckl's film The Cat Has Nine Lives from 1968 is an important and beautiful film, which was made at a time when women were just beginning to tell their own stories using their own pictures.
Ute Aurand 1995
02: "The Cat Has Nine Lives" was made as a graduation film at the institute of film design in Ulm. It reveals, through use of meticulously observed and lovingly enacted details, sympathy for both women, who actually know full well what they want, but sometimes haven't a clue, and again and again look for confirmation.
Annette Kilzer, Tip Berlin 6/95
03: What sets Ula Stöckl apart is that she is talking about herself, her situation, the milieu she knows, her problems and her ideals. She doesn't make a film about just anything, but rather about her own affairs. She speaks about women in her own way, and therefore she reminds me of Agnes Varda much more than those who believe that they have learnt Varda's style. (...) Ula Stöckl's conclusion is that mainstream society cannot possibly satisfy women. One should take the word literally: Satisfy, not pacify (Marcuse's false and deadly interpretation of pacification). Only the highest level of satisfaction offers both freedom and independence.
Peter M. Ladiges, Film Kritik 12/68
04: The most beautiful moments of Ula Stöckl's film are when she lets herself and her actors improvise, and when she uses techniques developed by the cinema verite. Her most impressive moments though are when she brings the film to an ending worthy of realist cinema.
Frieda Grafe, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 07.05.1971
05: The Cat Has Nine Lives is a film in Cinemascope with the craziest montage I have ever seen, and yet most of the time it also flows as a whole. (...) The Cat Has Nine Lives is a wonderfully beautiful, deeply sad puzzle.
Maria Lang 1990
06: It is the marvelous orgies of color in Ula Stöckl's debut film which impress even more. The Cat Has Nine Lives is, in its no-hold-barred subjectivity, an exciting experiment. It approaches characters, emotions, disturbed thoughts and disturbed emancipation in an extremely impressionistic way. It is a film about women by women, an almost beautifully bare statement.
07: What makes Ula Stöckl's film so endearing is that it doesn't pat itself on the back because of its own cleverness, but rather discusses the problem seriously and presents various characters in different pieces.
k.n., Schwäbische Zeitung 22.04.1971
08: Ula Stöckl's first film The Cat Has Nine Lives was the real secret at this year's Mannheim film festival. That it didn't win the first prize has not bothered its director too much. "What has interested me most about the film was making it and working on it during filming. I kept filming each scene again and again. I could work my whole life on a film-set." This push for perfection is one of Ula Stöckl's main traits. She has coolly distant obsession with film, without ever getting too uptight.
C. v. B., AZ, 13.12.1968
09: Her film centers on what is still socio-politically an explosive problem: the question of, to what extent a woman can be emancipated in a society which is ruled and organized by non-emancipated men.
Thomas Schröder, Die Welt, 14.10.68