Originally written and produced as a stage play, in transferring The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant to the big screen Rainer Werner Fassbinder created another masterpiece to rank alongside a string of cinematic classics.
Petra von Kant, with two marriages behind her and an absent daughter, is a successful fashion designer. She lives with her secretary, the repressed and subservient Marlene, who will form the second point in a tragic ménage à trois when Petra meets and falls hopelessly in love with a confident young model named Karin.
Harking back to the women’s pictures of Hollywood’s yesteryear, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is a magnificent showcase for Fassbinder’s female stars. Margit Carstensen (as Petra), Irm Hermann (as Marlene) and Hanna Schygulla (as Karin) deliver outstanding performances, three of the finest the cinema has ever seen.
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