Monday, April 10, 2006
The Bitter Tear of Petra von Kant
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972) 
This is certainly the most obtuse and patient of all Fassbinder films I have seen to this point. That can be a good and a bad thing. I think that Fassbinder has hit the right notes in addressing how the women’s relationships are, especially between Petra and Karin. The film certainly does a good job of showing the manipulation and power inherent in these relationships which goes far beyond any homosexual context that’s on the surface. Even though I liked what the film was doing, I definitely had a hard time getting into it. I have to admit I fell asleep for a few short instances, but this was not out of boredom. It probably wasn’t a good idea to have a bottle of wine and then attempt to fully engage with this film. You need to have a lot of patience in order to really understand what Fassbinder is doing. That intense focus makes it difficult to give this a grade of greatness. That's not some simple, I-don't-want-to-think-while-watching-a-movie statement; I think that the film is a little too rigorous to fully enjoy.