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MOTHER KüSTER'S TRIP TO HEAVEN

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...

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 »

WORLD ON A WIRE (1973)

“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 »

THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT

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 ... 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 »

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