This was the first Fassbinder film I saw when I actually worked as a projectionist in a High School Cinema Club in Tunisia, in the 1980´s. Our German language teacher brought films from the German Cultural Institute in Tunis and we discussed it after viewing. It was quite a challenge for a group of european and arab students. I hope it helped all of us.
I dismissed this film before it started. I went into it thinking of Sirk and Fassbinder's production style; how Sirk's elaborate Hollywood production values succeed in bringing you into that world of the melodrama. Here, Fassbinder has accomplished something different, but of equal impact, and with far less. This ebbs and flows between peaks and valleys of joy and sorrow. An utter heartbreaker and a new favorite.
Wonderful. The direction and visual style of this film is just really quite good. You can really sense the love that these two people share and everything that it means to them. Emmi's change once social pressures lessen is what makes this story so fascinating to me. It felt brutally real and definitely incredibly sad. The ending is also great. Not bad for my first Fassbinder! I'll have to watch much more.
A film that seems, in outline, as pure soap opera; countless moments in the screenplay that in any other context would seem laughably melodramatic are here handled with restraint and utter sincerity; the two lead actors are excellent, and it's a poetic, beautiful, deeply humane film, with understated and masterful direction by Fassbinder.
As in 'I Only Want You to Love Me', Fassbinder turns his hand here not only to melodrama but to didacticism; in lesser hands this material might have amounted to little more than an edifying moral tale providing uplift to self-satisfied bien-pensants. Instead it is shot through with a rich variety of anxieties -- social, personal, and political -- each brought to sad and vivid life via pitch-perfect performances.