I cannot deny when many people think that "Pioniere Von Ingolstadt" (1971) was more of less an apprentice piece for Fassbinder, although he had already done a couple of feature films before. I have also no major arguments against those who criticize that both film and play (by Marielouise Fleisser) are basically content-less (why Brecht seriously recommended to perform it "not as whole, but in its parts"): "Pioneers" come into a small Southern German town, the girls, oppressed by the Bavarian patriarchs, are eager to escape with the next-best soldier who comes across them. However, they are disappointed, because they experience sex where they expect love. And the pioneers build a bridge -a really strange metaphor. Is this bridge, that probably never get finished, a connection between the oppressors and the oppressed, the rich (patriarchs) and the poor (servants, the two female lead-characters Alma and Berta or A and B)? The movie raises more question than it gives an answer why Fassbinder did it. Considering that social problems, especially such involved with women, will become central in Fassbinder's later work, we may speculate that here, he laid out all the topics to which he would come back in his following films.
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