This moral fable traces the ignominious life journey of innocent Thymiane (Brooks), beloved daughter of prosperous German pharmacist Robert Henning (Ravensky). Through no fault of her own (the blame lies squarely with lascivious men and a debased, hypocritical society), she goes from virginal child to outcast, conceiving a child out of wedlock and ending up in a brothel. Ironically, it's there that she gets the opportunity to reclaim her life.
Director Pabst's final silent feature wagged a big finger at the decadence of the Weimar Republic, turning the story of a badly used young girl into an arch condemnation of moral corruption at the heart of the German soul. That's a lot to chew on, but who better to pull off the role of cherub-turned-harlot Thymiane than the electrifying Louise Brooks? Just watch her radiant, expressive face: Brooks's sexual magnetism and natural charisma are no less palpable now than in her own time, and "Lost Girl" is a perfect showcase for her talents. Sneak a peek at this "Diary."