AKA: Faustrecht der Freiheit
Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring: Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Franz ‘Fox’ Bieberkopf), Peter Chatel (Eugen), Karlheinz Böhm (Max), Adrian Hoven (Eugen’s father), Ulla Jacobsson (Eugen’s mother), Harry Baer (Philip), Christiane Maybach (Hedwig),
Country: West Germany; Effed Up European Cinema
Language: German; Effed Up German Movies
Genres: Gay, Misery-Depressing
Plot – Spoilers:
A performer at a German carnival, Fox, is left without a job and money when the place is shutdown by the cops. His last hope and immediate concern is finding a few marks to buy a lottery ticket he’s convinced he is going to win. As part of raising the necessary funds, he allows himself to be picked up at a public loo by an older gentleman who takes him to his mansion. Fox does end up winning half a million and the man later introduces Fox to his friends, who are initially contemptuous and patronizing until they are informed of the riches the uncouth chap is sitting on.
Fox is the central character here. So as a viewer, you’re trying to understand his personality and what he is about. And this keeps changing. Initially, he comes across a little thick, but that seems down to him being preoccupied with finding money for the lottery ticket. Later, he sounds cocksure and unfazed by the new world he’s found himself in. So you think, this could just be the high of having won half-a-million. Then he slowly starts getting beaten down as he is repeatedly shown how out of place he is in the place he has found himself in. How did he get there? Perhaps a combination of love and his own social aspirations. But now you see his body tone drop, he is less vocal, and his spirit becomes quieter, not in a self-realized way, but more from a lack of confidence to express itself.
This is a gay-themed movie, but is mostly about historical class struggles and how there has often only been one wiener.