Margarethe Von Trotta

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Rosenstrasse Review


Good
In the opening scenes of Rosenstrasse, a Jewish woman named Ruth (Jutta Lampe) living in contemporary New York is mourning the loss of her husband by means of strict Jewish customs. Her children, who have come for the funeral, do not understand why she is doing this, since her husband was German. What's more, she seems more hostile than usual and refuses to talk much about anything, including her past.

Ruth's daughter Hannah (Maria Schrader) knows that her mother was in Berlin during World War II but she wants to know more. So, pursuing a tip from her Aunt, she travels to Berlin to track down an elderly woman named Lena (Doris Schade) who took Ruth (Svea Lohde) in when her mother was one of the thousands of Jews interned during the war.

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Gods of the Plague Review


Grim
Gods of the Plague picks up right where Fassbinder's Love is Colder than Death leaves off -- literally -- as Franz (now played by Harry Baer) is released from prison for the deeds he performed in the prior film. He visits his best gal (still Hanna Schygulla), and with the guy who killed his brother (!), they plan to rob a supermarket (!!).

Glamour isn't exactly high on Franz or Fassbinder's list here. Love was a poor enough movie as it is, and Fassbinder has even worse luck here, in what I believe is the only sequel he ever made. With characters this dull and uninspired, why did he feel they needed to be revisited? Who can say?

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Circle Of Deceit Review


Excellent
It takes a virtuoso to set a love story in war-torn Beirut, but if anyone is up to the task it's going to be Volker Schlöndorff, the master behind The Tin Drum and other fine fare. With Bruno Ganz and Fassbinder regular Hanna Schygulla running the show, an even wider safety net is laid out -- Schlöndorff's story is emotional and earnest, beautifully composed, and full of thought: both about the horrors of modern warfare and the horrors of love.

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