The Niklashausen Journey

"Terrible"

The Niklashausen Journey Review


Wow. Fassbinder made some bad movies, but did he ever make a bad movie with this one.

To the best of my understanding, here's what the movie is about. A man known as the "Black Monk" (Fassbinder, uncredited) suggests a shepherd launch a revolution among the lower classes after he claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary and ordered to do so. The Black Monk suggests as well that dressing up his friend as Mary herself and parading her about might help her cause.

What the Black Monk says nothing about is singing songs and having orgies, events which comprise the bulk of the film and have seemingly nothing to do with story in any way. While Fassbinder wants this to be a film about both political and sexual revolution, it is of course a film about utterly nothing, a Caligula or a Sweet Movie for his country and his generation.

So what are we left with? Fassbinder gives us a a frothy pile of images, all of the non-sequiturs, while he himself is left to strut along a lonely road in a leather jacket and with a cigarette in his mouth. Any subtext Fassbinder hoped to develop is buried under mound after mound of sheer idiocy. It's no surprise The Niklashausen Journey (actually inspired by a 15th century true story) is one of his worst-regarded works.

Aka Die Niklashauser Fahrt.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Monday 26th October 1970

Distributed by: Wellspring Media Inc.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: Michael König as Hans Boehm, as Johanna, as Schwarzer Mönch, as Margarete, Walter Sedlmayr as Pastor, Günther Kaufmann as Bauernführer, as Bischof, as Schreiendes Mädchen, as Monsignore

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