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Hermann and Maria Braun's marriage lasts only one day and one night before Hermann is called to the front. After the war he is reported missing. Yet Maria believes he is still alive. Maria becomes the mistress of a GI whom she accidentally kills when Hermann returns unexpectedly. Hermann answers for the killing and goes to jail in her stead. While he is away she makes a successful career in the economic boom of postwar Germany. At the height of her success, Maria, Hermann, their house and worldly goods are destroyed in an explosion.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was born in 1945 and died in 1982. He was one of the most significant directors of the “New German Cinema”. In just 13 years, between 1969 and 1982, he made 44 films, including Katzelmacher (1969), The Merchant of Four Seasons (Der Haendler der vier Jahreszeiten, 1971), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Die bitteren Traenen der Petra von Kant, 1972), Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf, 1973), Fontane Effi Briest (1974), Despair (1978), The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun, 1979), Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), Lili Marleen (1981), Lola (1981), and Querelle (1982), among others. He wrote 14 plays, revised six others and directed 25. He wrote four radio plays and 37 screenplays and worked on a further 13 scripts with other writers. Fassbinder's films are among the most valid social documents produced between the late 60s and early 80s in Germany; his plays are among the most performed of any post-war German dramatist.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1979
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenplay Pea Froehlich, Peter Maerthesheimer
Cinematography Michael Ballhaus
Franz Walsch, Juliane Lorenz
Peer Raben
Cast Gisela Uhlen, Klaus Loewitsch, Hanna Schygulla, Ivan Desny
Producer Michael Fengler
Production Companies Albatross World Sales/Heidelberg, Trio Film, Tango Film/Munich, in co-production with WDR
Length 120 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions English, French, Italian
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, French, Spanish
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Berlin 1979 (in competition), Moscow 2010, Guadalajara 2012, Thessaloniki 2014, Sydney 2018, New York 2018, Kolkata 2019
Awards Silver Bear Berlin 1979, German Film Award 1979 Best Direction
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

World Sales
Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
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10629 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-8 87 24 90
fax +49-30-88 72 49 29