Volker Schlöndorff, 1970
West Germany | German with English subtitles | Format: Digital projection | 85 minutes
New York Premiere
The dream team of the New German Cinema: Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) directs Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta (five years before her directorial debut, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum) in a film adaptation of the first full-length play by Bertolt Brecht, a clear influence on Fassbinder at this stage of his career. Charting the debauchery of the title character, a dropout who defiles and accosts those who cross his path, Baal is a portrait of the type of recalcitrant antihero that so often appeared in Fassbinder’s work. Suppressed for years by Brecht’s widow, who was displeased with the outcome, Baal showcases three of the era’s most provocative talents working in tandem.