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Poster for The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Opens on May 27

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Run Time: 125 min. Format: 35mm Film Release Year: 1972 Language: German

Starring: Eva Mattes, Gisela Fackeldey, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake, Margit Carstensen

50th Anniversary!

In the early 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder discovered the American melodramas of Douglas Sirk and was inspired by them to begin working in a new, more intensely emotional register. One of the first and best-loved films of this period in his career is THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, which balances a realistic depiction of tormented romance with staging that remains true to the director’s roots in experimental theater. This unforgettable, unforgiving dissection of the imbalanced relationship between a haughty fashion designer (Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Schygulla)—based, in a sly gender reversal, on the writer-director’s own desperate obsession with a young actor—is a true Fassbinder affair, featuring exquisitely claustrophobic cinematography by Michael Ballhaus and full-throttle performances by an all-female cast. – Janus Films

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