Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's films always force us to become aware of possibilitieswhich remain just out of reach of his characters. Whilst his vision is a bleak one, he never indulges in it for its own sake, and he is constantly able to stand back and observe his characters from a position of relative detachment.
The world in which the drama is played out is Petra's apartment, a prison outside which another reality exists, but one which is only there by implication. Petra has lived her silent, restricted life in the company of her secretary. Marlene, until the arrival of Karin, who is fleeing the world of 'normal' relationships. What follows, becomes a game of moves and counter-moves, and it is through these that we come to understand passions which are never far from the surface.
The film is divided into five acts, measuring the ebb and flow of the three-way interactions. It is taken from Fassbinder's own play, and is performed by members of his theatrical group.