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OCCASIONAL WORK OF A WOMAN SLAVE

Germany, 1974 (MIFF 1975, German Series)

Director: Alexander Kluge

This film follows Alexander Kluge's earlier picture on the female condition, made in 1966, Yesterday's Girl. His new social satire takes as its protagonist an impoverished young housewife, Roswitha, who tries to make ends meet by performing backyard abortions. For a commission, she directs more complicated cases into the hands of a well-known doctor. But when she claims payment, she is thrown out. She takes up the fight against injustice and starts her own socialist crusade. She engages in politics, badgers newspaper editors, raking up scandals and scattering strike pamphlets through the local factory.

Her husband has given up his studies and taken a factory job; she discovers that his factory is to be moved to Portugal. Unaware that the company president has revoked the decision, she agitates against it, and her husband is fired. Once again, Roswitha has to support the family. She builds a kiosk in front of the factory and sells hot-dogs wrapped in political pamphlets.

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