Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart ... See full summary »
Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes. One sociable day, while toasting his friends and family, he decides to drink himself to death. Written by
I didn't find this film as accessible as 'Fox & his Friends' but it was a moving portrayal of a typical Fassbinder victim figure, the eponymous barrow-boy, Hans Epp, whose hopes and dreams are eventually crushed by stultifying conformity (family & society). Some of the scenes are exaggerated (the family confrontations) but I particularly liked the sequence where Hans is desperately searching for meaning & comfort; he tries to find some peace in natural surroundings, goes back to his first lost love in order to recapture past feelings (she's only interested in a quick fling before her husband returns) and visits his sister, perhaps the only person who has any degree of sympathy for him, only to find she's too busy with work.
A poignant story of a vulnerable inarticulate man crushed by his mundane surroundings and bourgeoise, middle-class German values obsessed with economic success and a upward mobility that conveniently papers over the cracks of its more disturbing past.
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