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MARTHA

MARTHA
Margit Carstensen

Martha is a single, untouched woman in her early thirties. While on vacation in Rome, she meets the love of her life, Helmut. They marry, but the marriage turns into a nightmare. Martha's expectations and Helmut's views and preferences are completely opposed. However, as a "good" wife, she gives in. One day when she finally can't take it anymore, it is too late. She has an accident and is confined to a wheelchair. She is doomed to spending the rest of her life in Helmut's sadistic-loving care.


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 1973
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenplay Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography Michael Ballhaus
Liesgret Schmitt-Klink
Manfred Oelschlegel
Cast Margit Carstensen, Karlheinz Boehm
Producers Peter Maerthesheimer, Fred Ilgner
Production Companies WDR, Filmverlag der Autoren/Leipzig
Length 116 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version French
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Venice 1994 (out of competition), Toronto 1994 (Special Presentation)
With backing from Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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