Tuesday, 25 February
Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven
Neglected New Wave German Cinema series
MOTHER KUSTER'S TRIP TO HEAVEN 1975 (Mutter Küsters Fahrt Zum Himmel) Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder 108 minutes In German with English subtitles
In Rainer Werner Fassbinder's version of Kurosawa's Rashomon, a single incident is seen through a broken social mirror that reflects our shattered society. Ultimately an anarchist, since he didn't blindly believe in any party or self-serving social or political group, Fassbinder serves up this crazy tale about a worker who kills his boss while working in a factory, and then commits suicide. After this event, we watch how this incident is taken up by various groups for their own advantage. We have the salon-communists, who want to make a hero of this guy, and then we have mass-media newspapers who portray him as a violent-tempered, wife-hating, drunk. His wife, Frau Küster, knows nothing about politics and is only concerned that his name isn't dragged through the mud. Then one day she is approached by a terrorist group who also want to exploit her for their cause. Soon poor Frau Küster is wrapped up in the chaos.
This film made Fassbinder a lot of enemies, from all sides... and reportedly the cinemas where it was screened received bomb threats. Heavily attacked by both the extreme left and extreme right, it was clearly one of Fassbinder's most controversial works, but is also one of his best. What's more, this flick has held up well over the years, since we now find ourselves in a world which has become even more of a mess - where political parties have become even more obviously phony, and the news media even more one-sided and ruthless. We see how each of these political groups have their own form of emotional blackmail. A superb autopsy on the state of the modern world, starring Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Margit Carstensen and Karlheinz Böhm.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €