in about 100 words or less
West Germany 115m, Colour
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Cast: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen
The Marriage of Maria Braun is a fascinating story of a newlywed wife in post WWII Germany whose husband is imprisoned for a murder which she accidentally committed. Out of love for her husband, she makes herself sexually available for monetary and material gain with the intention of making a good life for him when he is released from prison. While initially we are sympathetic toward Maria’s actions, it becomes increasingly clear that her obsession with material wealth eventually replaces the love she had for her husband. Hanna Schygulla gives a dazzling performance as the alluring Maria Braun which is reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich’s portrayal of Lola in Der Blaue Engel (1930). The explosive ending provides matching bookends to a sexually charged drama which is filled with a number of imaginative and entertaining twists (Klaus Ming November 2010).