85 minutes, West Germany, 1970, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinem

Made for German television, Baal remained unseen for over 40 years after its first transmission in 1970, such was the displeasure it caused the Brecht estate. An adaptation of his first play, it tells of a wastrel poet with an anarchistic streak, who rejects the bourgeois society that celebrates him in order to indulge his own dubious pleasures.

The film is perhaps most noteworthy for the talent involved, all of whom were at the early stages of careers that would reshape German cinema: Schlondörff, Margarethe von Trotta, Hanna Schygulla, and, in the title role, a dishevelled, mesmerising Rainer Werner Fassbinder. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

This event is screening as part of IFI Kinofest 2014 (October 9th – 12th), in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Irland, presenting a short selection of the best in contemporary German cinema.

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