Skip to main content

THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT

Germany, 1971 (MIFF 1973)

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.

See also...

DESPAIR

Fassbinder is the wonder-boy of the performing arts, turning out fully developed plays, films and television productions of his own with insistent regularity, and still finding time to appear in ... More »

THE PEDLAR OF THE FOUR SEASONS

This is the story of Hans, whose life was ruined by five women. ... His mother forces him to continue his high school education, forbidding him to learn an honest trade, which he always wanted. He ... More »

CHINESE ROULETTE

This is the twenty-ninth film made by German director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. ... Chance brings together an unhappy family for a long weekend at their country retreat The parents have indulged in ... More »

FOX AND HIS FRIENDS

“One of Fassbinder's easiest, most naturalistic movies.” - New York Times ... Fox is a financially strapped gay man who performs in a travelling circus as ‘Fox the Talking Head'. When he wins ... More »

FOX: FISTRIGHT OF FREEDOM

Rainer Fassbinder's second film of 1975 was made before Mother Kuster. In Fox ... , he plays the leading role himself, as a young homosexual who is seen first as the lover of a fairground showman. He ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director