Cinema: Germany Without Tears

BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ Directed and Written by R. W. Fassbinder

Franz Biberkopf presses his hands to the sides of his head, as if he were about to pulverize a rancid cantaloupe, and screams. He staggers wildly about the apartment-house courtyard, its high walls allowing the merest tantalizing glimpse of sky. This is Germany, 1927. As the nation spun from the humiliation of Versailles to economic and social anarchy, and then into the toxic delirium of the Third Reich, so Franz spins. A laborer and part-time pimp who has just been released from prison after...

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