German Film Forum

German Film Forum 2015/16 - Director in Focus – Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fassbinder German film critic Wolfram Schütte once wrote, „With Fassbinder’s death in 1982 the heart of the New German Film stopped beating“. Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) was undeniably one of the most prolific directors of all time. Over a short span of career which lasted only from 1968 to 1981, he directed 44 films and TV works.

Born in Bavaria shortly after the end of World War II, Fassbinder spent a lot of time in the cinema, and it was from there that he developed his passion for films. After graduating from high school in 1964, Fassbinder took up many jobs while studying at a drama school. He also tried but failed to get into a film school. He was very active, however, in Munich’s underground theatre scene, and it didn’t take long before he jumped into the film scene and finished his debut “Love is colder than death” (1969).

Fassbinder’s oeuvre encompassed different topics from harsh social critique, melodramatic love story to ambitious literary adaptations. One thing consistent was that he remained critical in his portrayal of society and its underdogs. 1978 saw a turning point in Fassbinder’s career when he started the first of his post-war FRG trilogy “The marriage of Maria Braun”. The depiction of a war widow had not only become Fassbinder’s signature film, but also put main actress Hanna Schygulla to the height of her career.

However, all this came to a halt in 1982 when Fassbinder died of drug overdose at the age of 37. In honor of what would have been Fassbinder’s 70th birthday, German Film Forum presents five of his films starting from Nov 2015 to March 2016. These films represent not only Fassbinder’s versatile talent, but also the multifaceted film scene in Germany in the 70s and 80s.

Tickets available at URBTIX from 20 Oct 2015 onwards.


The Marriage of Maria Braun
Hong Kong Film Archive
Hong Kong Film Archive
Satan's Brew
Hong Kong Film Archive
Ali: Fear Eats The Soul
Hong Kong Film Archive
Effi Briest
Hong Kong Film Archive