The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

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Released 1972

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  • The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

    Movie

    1/1/72

    The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, originally Die Bitteren Traenen Der Petra von Kant, is a 1972 German drama with the tagline ‘Sex is the ultimate weapon.’ The film is set almost exclusively in the bedroom of Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen), an arrogant but prominent fashion designer in Bremen. Married twice, the first of which ended in death and the second of which ended in divorce, Petra is an unhappy woman who treats her assistant, Marlene (Irm Hermann) like a slave. When her cousin, Sidonie von Grasenabb (Katrin Schaake), brings along a friend, Karin Thimm (Hanna Schygulla), on a visit to her sister, Petra is immediately besotted in the beautiful twenty-three year old girl. She suggests that Karin become a model and invites her to move in with her, so that she may help her advance her modeling career. But when Karin does not return Petra’s affections, but prefers men, things go downhill fast as the jealous Petra spirals into an alcohol-fueled depression. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and won three Film Awards in Gold at the German Film Awards.moreless
  • The BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (US)

    Trailer

    In the early 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Berlin Alexanderplatz) discovered the American melodramas of Douglas Sirk and was inspired by them to begin working in a new, more intensely emotional register. One of the earliest and best-loved films of this period in his career is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, which balances a realistic depiction of tormented romance with staging that remains true to the director’s roots in experimental theater. This unforgettable, unforgiving dissection of the imbalanced relationship between a haughty fashion designer (Margit Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Hanna Schygulla)—based, in a sly gender reversal, on the writer-director’s own desperate obsession with a young actor—is a fully Fassbinder affair, featuring exquisitely claustrophobic cinematography by Michael Ballhaus (The Last Temptation of Christ) and full-throttle performances by an all-female cast.moreless
  • The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant: I Don't Regret It (US)

    Trailer

    In the early 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Berlin Alexanderplatz) discovered the American melodramas of Douglas Sirk and was inspired by them to begin working in a new, more intensely emotional register. One of the earliest and best-loved films of this period in his career is The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, which balances a realistic depiction of tormented romance with staging that remains true to the director’s roots in experimental theater. This unforgettable, unforgiving dissection of the imbalanced relationship between a haughty fashion designer (Margit Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Hanna Schygulla)—based, in a sly gender reversal, on the writer-director’s own desperate obsession with a young actor—is a fully Fassbinder affair, featuring exquisitely claustrophobic cinematography by Michael Ballhaus (The Last Temptation of Christ) and full-throttle performances by an all-female cast.moreless