Added screening on Monday, May 19.
Herr R. has a wife and a child to love and keep company, a respectable job as a technical engineer, and a medium-sized apartment with a garden and a TV set to slump in front of: the complete middle-class existence. One night after work, as his wife idly converses with a friend, Herr R. beats both women and his child to death with the base of a candlestick. Fassbinder’s detailing of Herr R.’s empty existence is harrowing and bleakly comic in equal measure, exposing the creaking gears within the seemingly well-oiled mechanics of daily life. Fassbinder called this, perhaps not without some pride, “the most disgusting film I ever made.” He would return to a similar story of explosive rage from a completely different narrative perspective in Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven.