The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Monday, August 29 - Thursday, September 1, 2022

50th Anniversary! NY premiere of a new digital restoration!

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 (Margit Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Hanna 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.

Screening as part of our series Fassbinder’s BITTER TEARS + More, in anticipation of the opening of Francois Ozon’s gender-swapped reimagining of a Rainer Werner Fassbinder masterwork PETER VON KANT

  • Country West Germany
  • Language In Germany with English subtitles
  • Year 1972
  • Running Time 125 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Distributor Janus
  • Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil

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