The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum marks the directorial debut for actress Margarethe von Trotta, who co-directed the film with her then-husband Volker Schlöndorff. At a costume party, Katharina Blum (Angela Winkler) meets Ludwig Goetten (Jürgen Prochnow ) and spends the night with him. The next morning, he's gone and the police bust into her apartment looking for him with the belief that he is a dangerous terrorist. She is taken into police custody and interrogated by Kommissar Beizmenne (Mario Adorf), who questions her about her every action. Meanwhile, sleazy reporter Werner Toetges (Dieter Laser) makes her story into a scandal in the papers by writing sensational stories about her personal life and portraying her as a criminal in photos. He exaggerates the testimonies of her ex-husband, neighbors, and even her elderly mother who is dying of cancer in an intensive care hospital. With the fear-induced public thinking she is a Communist and terrorist sympathizer, Katharina receives hate mail and personal threats until she is finally driven over the edge.