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The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Cast: Margit Carstensen, Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, more...
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Germany, Gay & Lesbian, Features
Running Time: 124 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English
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This tale of intermingled love and hate is directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and is the 13th of the 33 films he made in his short life. It explores the universal dynamics present in close human relationships, even lesbian ones. Petra Von Kant (Margit Carstensen) is a fashion designer. Some time ago, she divorced the husband she no longer loved. Until recently, she has been in a fairly satisfactory S & M relationship with her assistant, Karin (Hanna Schygulla). When she develops an obsession with her fashion model, however, things become far more complicated. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Fox and His Friends
Another key film in Fassbinder filmography

Fassbinder directed and starred with Hanna Schygulla in one of his first prominent (and controversial) releases

GreenCine Member Reviews

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant by LStokes January 30, 2006 - 4:00 PM PST
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Perhaps a great movie, perhaps not... However, the commentary was among the worst I have ever listened to. I could have done better myself, and I have only seen like 2 or 3 Fassbinder's.

My first Fassbinder by Misshaped December 31, 2004 - 7:35 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
What a great way to start an obsession with Fassbinder. This film is gorgeous to look at, but painful if you allow yourself to become involved in the lives of the characters. It's amazing to think that he made 33 films in his short time as a filmmaker. Watch the extras for more info about'll learn a lot.

The characters exist in a claustrophobic space together in Petra's apartment and the viewer is held captive in the middle of these intense love/hate relationships. There are no outside shots and many of the scenes are extremely long single shots, so it's easy to fall victim to Petra's obsessive needs and desires in her home.

You may love Petra and feel her pain, or perhaps you'll feel the need to slap her around, but in the end you will be glad Fassbinder took the time to explore these interesting characters.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.92)
118 Votes
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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
"If you like Croneberg you may also like... "
A random list of goodness with no particular theme -- really!

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