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Germany, 1975 (MIFF 1976)

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Fassbinder's film takes up the story of Mrs. Kuster who lives in Frankfurt with her husband, a factory worker, and her son and his pregnant wife. Her life is disrupted when her husband goes berserk at work, kills his boss and commits suicide. Instead of attending the funeral, her son goes on a holiday, and her daughter capitalizes on the publicity given her as the daughter of 'the factory murderer'.

Reporters flock to the household, and the daughter goes off to live with one of them. Disappointed by the response of bourgeois society, Mrs. Kuster turns for help to a wealthy couple, who turn out to be members of the Communist Party. They assure her that her cause is theirs, and she joins the Party, but they make political capital out of her story to help them in the coming election. In attempting to understand her husband's actions, Mrs. Kuster turns to a different political group for help, and becomes unexpectedly involved in revolutionary politics.

The manipulation of individual misery and vulnerability for propagandist ends is one of the classical ploys of political totalitarianism, whether of the Left or the Right, and that is what Fassbinder takes as his theme.'

Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

See also...


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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 »


“There are movies that make news and movies that are news. World on a Wire is one of the latter.” - Village Voice ... R.W. Fassbinder's epic, made-for-TV, science fiction mystery has been ... More »


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 »


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 »

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