Leads are wonderful in this tale of an elderly German woman finding love with a much younger Moroccan migrant, and writer-director Fassbinder uses this story to cast light on the work that it takes to maintain relationships, the ways in which people who love one another can still be very selfish, and the way in which racism and prejudice can filter through sections of society in so many different manifestations.
Fassbinder at his most tender and human. simultaneously blissfully romantic and bleakly cold. Although this film faithfully pays homage to the melodrama of Douglas Sirk, it plays down the stylistic artifice and excess in exchange for raw human emotion. The surprisingly sensitive portrayal of racial and class struggle is the cherry on top of this open wound of a film.
Loved this film. It struck a chord with me in so many ways be it socially, racially as the son of immigrants myself and emotionally. I especially like the way the film touched on the desire for social acceptance amongst the many other topics that were either tackled subtly or boldy depending on the subject matter.
Topic-based film. I've seen better am-dram at the theatre, and this strongly resembles a theatre piece with occasional nice shots to make it cinematic. Minor characters generally wooden and all of them with unrealistic dialogue. I'd like the see Brigitte Mira elsewhere. However it's an interesting period piece set in a familiar pan-European working-class context in which the ageism is almost as pungent as the racism.
Fassbinder is great, I've only just discovered him, courtesy of Mubi. Meant to watch him before but never got round to it. This is a good one, well shot from the start, with the staring people in the bar. Big topics, sensitively handled. Awkward moments between people but tenderness too. Nicely observed and well acted.
Following on from Merchant of Four Seasons and the spellbinding BToPVK, this just feels like the necessary next step in Fassbinder's 'exploitability of feelings' body of work. The acting is superb, the cinematography is cryptic and symbolic... This isn't acting, nor events unfolding in a realistic way - this is a hypnosis of the emotions... Actions on cue, messages beneath the surface... CINEMA.
Quickly descending into the 10 Worst Films of All Times, this film is as revealing as a sealed envelope superficially revolving around the bloody obvious like a stubborn moth on a lightbulb, with Fassbinder, an acquired taste, as naive as his deadpan characters, guilty of what he himself condemns when Emmi finally renounces her own pride to an astray Ali, just before the ultimate Voodoo-induced lurgy strikes.
First exposure to Fassbinder's films and, wow. Beautifully shot, and the somber pace of dialogue creates a terrific balance of tenderness and tension. Fassbinder captures the human propensity towards love and cruelty given the varied circumstances "societal life" provides.