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Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s penultimate film of the seventies was also his most successful. Popular with audiences and critics alike, among them Roger Ebert and François Truffaut, The Marriage of Maria Braun finally provided its director with the international breakthrough he had craved for so long.
Maria Braun marries a young soldier amid the Allied bombing raids of World World II the day before he must return to the Russian front. Awaiting his return in 1945, she is informed of his death and must endure and navigate the post-war years alone. Mirroring the German Wirtschaftswunder (‘economic miracle’), she determinedly rises to prosperity as a self-made woman.
Centred on an astonishing performance from Fassbinder regular Hanna Schygulla in the lead role, The Marriage of Maria Braun took over four million Deutschmarks in its home country and made over a million dollars in the US. Such success proved influential too – without it we would likely never have seen Helma Sanders-Brahms’s Germany, Pale Mother or Edgar Reitz’s epic Heimat.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Brand new 4K restoration from original camera negatives
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
Optional English subtitles
Life, Love & Celluloid, a 1998 feature-length documentary on Fassbinder, written and directed by his regular editor, Juliane Lorenz
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1977, a candid 30-minute interview with the director
The Fassbinder Family, an all-new featurette detailing the actors who worked with Fassbinder time and again throughout his career
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I thought that "The Marriage of Maria Braun" was a very good movie because of how well I felt it brought out its' message of survival and its' consequences. I was satisfied that I had gotten the director's intended message but then I saw this sequence between what seemed to be the proper end and the cast and credits. What was that all about? I milled it over and wondered whether or not the director, Rainer Fassbinder, was trying to make a statement about the division of Germany. I could understand how one character's success and materialism represents West Germany. It's alliance with the West was enriching but may have involved compromising aspects of it's self-respect. Another character's imprisonment represented the confinement and lack of freedom of East Germany. I wonder if the point was to suggest that, after such a long seperation, the potential reunion was going to be difficult. If the ending throws you off, don't worry, the previous two hours says enough.