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With: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Gottfried John, Hark Bohm
Written by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pea Fröhlich, Peter Märthesheimer
Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
MPAA Rating: R
Language: German with English subtitles
Running Time: 120
Date: 02/20/1979

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Widow Dressing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Toward the end of his career, the great and prolific German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder embarked on three films, dubbed the "BRD Trilogy" (1978-82, Criterion Collection, $79.95), short for "Bundesrepublik, Deutschland." These films charted the progress (or lack thereof) of postwar Germany through the eyes of three women: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Lola (1981) and Veronika Voss (1982). The first film alone makes this box set worth having; Fassbinder always dreamed of international success and Maria was the film that finally brought it to him. The film's epic structure and period detail has always pleased critics, but Fassbinder avoids the usual trappings of the genre and manages a raw intimacy throughout.

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