Jorgos, an emigrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "Communist" ... See full summary »
Jorgos, an emigrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "Communist" and "Greek dog". After having been attacked, Jorgos talks to Maria of his wish to return home. Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I think in big parts the film is about dynamics. Different couples with different dynamics. One couple in which the man treats his woman harshly, one in which he treats her more tenderly (until he is eager for more money) and one in which the woman has the upper hand in the household, apparently because she brings home the money. Yet they all seem to be in love with their partner and they are all friends with each other.
Money also plays an important role overall. Those who have money are more oppressive and dominating. As if having money gives one more of a right to tell your partner what he or she should do in things that have nothing to do with money. Two of the men consider doing something illegal, that should bring big bucks. This was the cause for some quarrels with their women who found the idea appealing but didn't want to risk it. We never learn what it was they had planned and eventually they dropped the idea. But the relationships with their women were hurt permanently by this dispute.
Everyone seemed to have sex with everyone (except the ugly woman), without being much of an issue, but hey, it was 1969. In fact, it only was an issue when one of the women demanded money for it. It made her a whore, but the other women doing it for free didn't make them whores. Except for maybe the woman who was said to have sex with the guest-worker from Greece.
The scenes of always two different characters walking, with the melancholic music I understood this way that the two people talk differently to each other when they are among themselves. Always more tender, no matter which two people it were. But once there are at least three people the dynamics change for the worse.
At the beginning I found the film quite alien, because of the apparent disjointness of the scenes, but the better I knew the characters the more drawn in I was and I soon started to get something out of most scenes. It was also alien because I was not used to the way they talk. Pretty stagy in pronunciation and phrasing. This could possibly be contributed to the fact that the cast and writer/director Fassbinder all came from theater with little film experience at that point.
There was no sense of time. It just goes from one conversation to another. From the dialogue you could gather that a lot of time passed overall, but it isn't really important to know how much. It was just important for the movie so to not have the plot stagnating, to see different sides of the characters. Although it could also be argued again that you don't get a sense of time passing because Fassbinder didn't yet know any better, since he was rather new to the medium of film.
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