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Fear and loathing in the mean streets of suburban Munich, where all behaviour obeys the basest and most basic of drives, and fleeting allegiances form and re-form in almost mathematically abstract permutations until disrupted by the advent of an immigrant Greek worker (played by Fassbinder himself; the title is a Bavarian slang term for a gastarbeiter, implying tomcatting sexual proclivities) who becomes the target for xenophobic violence. Fassbinder's sub-Godardian gangster film début, Love is Colder than Death, was dismissed as derivative and dilettanté-ish; this second feature, based on his own anti-teater play, won immediate acclaim. It still seems remarkable, mainly for Fassbinder's distinctive, highly stylised dialogue and minimalist mise-en-scène that transfigures a cinema of poverty into bleakly triumphant rites of despair.

Release details

Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenwriter: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast: Hanna Schygulla
Lilith Ungerer
Elga Sorbas
Doris Mattes
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rudolf Waldemar Brem
Harry Baer
Peter Moland
Irm Hermann
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