“A work of genius” (Jay Scott, Globe and Mail), the marvellous Marriage of Maria Braun is Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s most famous film and was his greatest popular success. It also exemplifies his clever, cunning use of conventional melodrama — derived from Hollywood films in general, and those of Douglas Sirk in particular — as a vehicle for critiquing the social and political state of post-World War II Germany. The sprawling soap opera plot concerns a young German woman who marries near the end of the war, only to lose her husband at the Russian front. Reduced to dire poverty in the war's rubble-strewn aftermath, she improves her fortunes by taking up with an American soldier, but things take a deadly turn when her husband unexpectedly returns. The postwar rags-to-riches tale of the eponymous heroine is meant to parallel West Germany’s so-called “Economic Miracle.” Hanna Schygulla's towering, sexually-charged performance in the title role drew comparisons to Marlene Dietrich, and earned Schygulla the best actress award at Berlin in 1979. “Schygulla is the luminous focus of the film's beauty and scathing intelligence; the movie is unimaginable without her” (Richard T. Jameson). Colour, 35mm, in German with English subtitles. 120 mins.
"The Marriage of Maria Braun may be Mr. Fassbinder's most perfectly realized comedy to date."New York Times | full review
"No film of this genre made a greater impact than Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Marriage Of Maria Braun."The Guardian | full review
"To watch this film…is to realize how carelessly most movies are visualized. There is not a dull shot, one that fails to catch the eye, provoke the intellect, and remind us what an invigoratingly participatory experience the watching of a film can be."Seattle Weekly | full review