The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

A lesbian love triangle becomes a schema of sexual power plays in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's most harshly stylized and perhaps most significant film (1973). The action is confined to a single set—the apartment of fashion designer Margit Carstensen, decorated with desiccated mannequins and a mammoth painting of fleshy, galloping nudes—where the three characters (one is a mute) scheme, complain, and attempt to seduce. With Irm Hermann and Hanna Schygulla. In German with subtitles. 124 min.

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