Both the parents of a young teen who walks with crutches, goes on each their secret meeting with lovers, both surprising each other at the family's county home. The daughter arrives and initiates a guessing game of "Chinese roulette".
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
A story about the transition from late youth to early maturity, the film follows several friends and lovers as they come to make decisions on how to live their lives--getting a job more in ... See full summary »
At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »
Three people rob a bank to help a day care center that's in debt. Wolf is captured, Werner identified, police suspect Christa is the third. She and Werner ask Hans, a clergyman, to launder ... See full summary »
Margarethe von Trotta
Cass Brown is about to marry for the second time; his first marriage, to Isabel, was annulled. But when he discovers that Isabel just had their baby, Cass kidnaps the infant to keep her ... See full summary »
Katharina Blum is a young handsome German maid. She meets Ludwig, and they fall in love at once. They spend the night together. In the morning, the police bursts in her flat, looking for Ludwig : he is a terrorist. But he was no longer here. Katharina is arrested, humiliated, suspected to be a terrorist herself, dragged in the mud by the newspapers... A plea for democracy and individual rights.Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #177. See more »
Katharina's car has two different license plates. See more »
The shots that killed Werner Tötges didn't hit him alone. They were aimed at Freedom of the Press, one of the most precious values of our young Democracy. And these shots - for us who stand here in grief and horror - they strike us. Just as they struck him. Who doesn't feel the wound? Who doesn't feel the sorrow above and beyond one's personal concerns? Who doesn't feel the breath of terror, the savage of anarchy, the violence which is undermining the foundations of our liberal-democratic order...
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The legal disclaimer reads as follows: 'Personen und Handlung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Aehnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der BILD-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Aehnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufaellig, sondern unvermeidlich.' (Characters and plot are purely fictitious. Similarities with journalistic practices of the newspaper "BILD" are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable.) This is a direct quote from the introduction to the original novel by Heinrich Böll. See more »
This film is based on the novel of the same name by the German author Heinrich Böll. The book is purported to be written by Böll as a result of an ongoing feud in the German media between Böll and the publisher of the German daily tabloid the Bild Zeitung, a publication known for its lurid and sensational reporting of the news. In his story, Böll attempts to show how damaging irresponsible journalism can be to the lives and reputations of innocent persons caught up in the tide of current events.
The story begins with Katherina Blum attending a party where she meets and is strongly attracted to a young man. She invites him to her apartment and they spend the night making love. The next morning, the young man has gone and the police are storming her door seeking to arrest the overnight guest as a terrorist. Instead, Katherina is arrested and taken to the police station for interrogation as his accomplice. The young terrorist has been killed and Katherina is unable to prove that she had no knowledge of his activities. A tabloid reporter becomes obsessed by the case hounds Katherina, mercilessly destroying her reputation and any semblance of a normal life. The emotional tension continues to build, finally reaching a violent climax.
This is a very powerful and well made film. Böll's message regarding sensational and irresponsible journalism is very clear. After suffering along with the innocent Katharina through the insult, pain and dishonor of her ordeal, I came away from the film with an altered point of view toward tabloid journalism and commercial news reporting in general. In a world where reporters are being found guilty of manufacturing news stories, media agencies are providing dramatic reenactments of sensational news events, and names like O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky are used as teasers to improve the ratings of news programs, this film is a must see.
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