The Janus Collection
The Marriage of Maria Braun
dir. Ranier Werner Fassbinder, Germany, 1978, 35mm, German w/ English subtitles, 120 min.
Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II , only to have him disappear in the war. Alone, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in Germany’s “economic miracle” of the 1950’s. Fassbinder’s biggest international box office success and the first part of his “postwar trilogy,” The Marriage of Maria Braun is a heartbreaking study of a woman picking herself up from the ruins of her own life, as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past.