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828 Ratings


West Germany, 1974
Drama, Thriller


After the death of her abusive father, the lonely librarian Martha marries an equally vile businessman – Helmut. The cruel and torturous nature of their relationship leads Martha to believe Helmut might be trying to kill her.

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Martha Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Critics reviews

As the film progresses and Helmut’s cruelty amps up, having her unwillingly removed from her librarian job, murdering her cat and sexually forcing himself on her, the two bodies take on more friction. As such, the blocking begins to consist of repeated images of Martha and Helmut facing the opposite of each other: Fassbinder pushes his cringe-inducing tale of cruelty into the abstract.
November 04, 2016
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1974 melodrama “Martha”… is both one of his most visually and emotionally extravagant films and one of his least-known…
April 20, 2012
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…The radical cleavage between these positions produces the candy-colored, acid-coated valentine delivered by Martha to viewers, inflected by what may well be Carstensen’s greatest performance in a Fassbinder film. And if we choke on the bittersweet confection, it might be said that the film is functioning politically.
January 01, 2005
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