: : : The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Story

Rainer Werner Fassbinder adapted his own play for this modern twist on The Women, the great all-female Hollywood classic of sex and social conventions in high society. Margit Carstensen is successful dress designer Petra, Irm Hermann her silent, obedient secretary/servant/Girl Friday Marlene (whom she alternately abuses and ignores), and Hanna Schygulla the callow, shallow young Karin, a seemingly naive blond beauty Petra treats as part protegée, part pet, until the calculating kitten turns on Petra. Michael Ballhaus's prowling camera finds Marlene silently hovering on the borders of Petra's dramas, looking on through doors and windows like an adoring lover from afar. Bouncing between catty melodrama and naked emotional need, it's a quintessentially Fassbinder portrait of doomed love, jealousy, and social taboos. The DVD features commentary by Fassbinder scholar Jane Shattuc, the early 1966 Fassbinder short films The City Tramp and The Little Chaos, the bonus documentary Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and filmographies. --Sean Axmaker

Cast

Margit CarstensenPetra von Kant
Hanna SchygullaKarin Thimm
Katrin SchaakeSidonie von Grasenabb
Eva MattesGabriele von Kant
Gisela FackeldeyValerie von Kant
Irm HermannMarlene

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