The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Country: West Germany

1972 | 124 min. | German
Subtitles: English

Cast_ Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Katrin Schaake, Eva Mattes, Gisela Fackeldey Screenplay_ Rainer Werner Fassbinder Camera_ Michael Ballhaus Rights_ Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation

A fashion designer abuses her assistant and yearns for the love of a young woman. One of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s most beautiful films.

The discovery of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas of in the early 1970s inspired Rainer Werner Fassbinder to make a series of films notable for their powerfully emotional style. ›The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant‹ is one of the most impressive products of this revelation. The story revolves around the abuse of power and masochistic subjugation, themes that Fassbinder dissects with meticulous precision: fashion designer Petra von Kant shamelessly exploits her assistant Marlene; at the same time, she falls in love with the younger Karin. But when Karin then wishes to return to her husband, Petra von Kant despairs.


Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) is possibly the most important director of the New German Cinema of the 1970s. He made 44 films between 1969 and 1982, including ›Angst essen Seele auf‹ (1974), ›Die Ehe der Maria Braun‹ (1978), and the epochal television series ›Berlin Alexanderplatz‹ (1980).


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