The Marriage of Maria Braun is the “German Hollywood film” Fassbinder had long dreamed of making. A heartbreaking study of a woman picking herself up from the ruins of her own life, as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past.
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My Favorite Fassbinder Film. Shows his genius of being able to have character reflect society without it ever feeling contrived. Its an epic work with an irony that laughs and cry's..often at the same time
"Hurts, does it? In pain, are you? Are they coming up
out of their holes, George? All those helpless little blonde girls with frightened eyes. Are they coming out of the rubble? Are you going to give them fags? ... 'Up with their dresses and down with their knickers.' Time has come for roll-call. You can't say you haven't asked for it, old son. Time to part." - Philip Marlow, Singing Detective, ep 3, 36 min mark.
As Germany tries to build itself up after WWII so does the beautiful and opportunistic Maria Braun. The film begins and ends with an explosion, and in between we follow the tiles and tribulations of this charismatic woman who's willing to do whatever it takes to provide for herself, her husband and family. The brief scenes that take place in the ruins are visually quite amazing. Very, very good.
Fassbinder's analogy between biographical and political history is brilliant, especially regarding the sound. The comments from the radio - from missing people in the beginning to the discussion about rearmament to the winnig of the World Championship in the end - reflect Maria's development on the personal level. And the camera work of Michael Ballhaus - may he rest in peace - is extraordinary.