Maria marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find prosperity during Germany's "economic miracle" of the 1950s.
This movie follows the life of a young German woman, married to a soldier in the waning days of WWII. Fassbinder has tried to show the gritty life after the end of WWII and the turmoil of the people trapped in its wake.Written by
Neel V Kumar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm a master of deceit: a capitalist tool by day, and by night an agent of the proletarian masses - the Mata Hari of the Economic Miracle.
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At the very end of the credits the following persons are 'credited' by their picture: Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Helmut Schmidt and a disconnected phone line can be heard. See more »
Having heard of this film for years, I didn't see it until 2003! Perhaps it's just as well that I waited. It is one of the finest films of its type -- post WW2 in Germany -- that I've ever seen; perhaps on balance the finest.
It seems to me that rather than being a cynical portrayal of those difficult years, it is more truthful and revelatory in a deep way. I imagine that no one other than those who lived then can begin to tell the story, which is why Fassbinder has tried on our behalf -- to try to convey to us the angst, the frustrations, the sadness, the insanity, the querulousness, the fragile hope of that era.
I find the story very sad, of course, because in my early-21st century psyche I'm more tuned into the love story than I am the tale of the sociology and social psychology of an era that occurred when I was very young. It seems to me that if one views the characters as representatives of some of the major "world views" obtaining during the reconstruction period, one sees a few of the many different human reactions there can be to such an experience: Many feel burned out and can't feel hope any longer; others, like Maria, feel there is at least money and position to be gained under the new dispensation; some simply don't care; others try to feed off the experience without contributing; and so on and so forth.
It also occurred to me that, at age 60, I may be in a position to appreciate this film more, and certainly to be more understanding of and sympathetic with the characters/types portrayed. I found each of them to have an important story to tell, whether it was a "good" story or not. And the character of the Black US Army Sergeant, while tragic at the end, was itself an essay in human relations that has to embarrass most Americans -- the fleeting moments when he and Maria found joy and pleasant times together were just wonderful to behold, and an indictment of our sad history in that regard.
View it and see what you think!
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