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THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT

Director: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER

124 minutes| West Germany| 1972| Colour| Subtitled| 35mm


Fassbinder’s stunning portrayal of desire, control, and masochism is perhaps one of the greatest films of his career. In a single room observed closely by emotionless fashion mannequins and patrolled in precise camera moves, fashion designer Petra foolishly falls for ingenue Karin, a young and gorgeous creature whose main aim is to use Petra’s influence to kick-start her modelling career. Waited on hand and foot by her ever schtum and slavish secretary Marlene, Petra’s downfall plays out in one of the most perfectly designed sets in cinema history. Among Poussin paintings, bottles of bubbly and china tea services, the incredible cast of Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla and Irm Hermann give astonishing performances that perfectly convey the complex emotional power games with which Fassbinder was so obsessed throughout his life and career.

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