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In post-World War II reconstruction West Germany, Maria Braun learns that her husband has died during the war. Desperate and determined, she supports herself by working as a hostess at a bar frequented by American soldiers. From there, she begins ascending the social ladder, ultimately garnering the attention of a wealthy industrialist. Maria continues her progress by becoming his mistress, but her ambitions are complicated when she learns that her husband may not have died after all. At what cost will she be able to reconcile her love for her husband with her need to survive in a postwar West Germany that is struggling to rebuild itself? Her eventual downfall coincides ironically with Germany’s victory in the 1954 World Cup, a historic landmark highlighting Germany’s “comeback” as a world power.
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Federal Republic of Germany 1979
DVD, 115 min.
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