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The Marriage of Maria Braun
Germany - 1978
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder


"My reality lags behind my consciousness."

Set in the tumultuous days immediately following the allied victory in Europe, young bride, Maria Braun, has had only one night and two days with her husband, a German soldier who returns to the front as Berlin is being bombarded by the Allies.  We see Maria and others walking around with placards hanging from their necks, showing the photograph of a missing loved one, trying to find anyone who recognizes the face and may have information on their whereabouts.  Finally, Maria's brother-in-law, Willi, returns home, bearing the news that her husband, Hermann, is dead.

Maria has taken a new lover, a black American officer who treats her with utmost kindness and teaches her English.  He eventually proposes, but Maria, who is not convinced that Hermann is dead, refuses.  She becomes pregnant with the American's child and is startled to discover Hermann on her doorstep while she is with her lover.  Hermann slaps Maria across the face and her lover tries to defend her and subdue Hermann.  Maria smashes a lamp over her lover's head, killing him.  Hermann Braun is imprisoned for the crime.

Maria, still waiting for Hermann, meets a French entrepreneur, establishing a business in the reformed Germany.  Her English skills and her compelling personality win her a position with his company.  She becomes rich and powerful, but still waiting, she denies the French man her love.

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