A story about exploitation, family duress and naivety.
Dec 18, 2009
Emma "Mother" Kusters (Brigitte Mira) is a middle aged woman who learns that her husband went crazy at work, killed his supervisor and himself. Her family is thrusts into the tabloid spotlight along with the press who hound them for an interview. Corinna (Ingrid Caven) is initially supportive of her grieving mother but uses the incident to land a singer job at a dive bar/cabaret club. Helene (Irm Hermann) the pregnant daughter-in-law leaves along with Emma's son to find a new flat. Alone, she finds support from a classy couple (Karl Heinz Bohm & Margit Carstensen) who are members of the Communist Party and they exploit her for their social causes. Emma just wants to clear her husband's name (for some reason) and will do anything to do it. One day after a communist rally, she meets a Anarchist who tells her that if it's action she wants then action she'll get. Will Emma join these terrorists to clear her husband's name?
Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven is an excellent film. I really enjoyed Brigitte Mira's performance as Emma, the naive mother and wife who never really knew her husband and the madness that was inside. Corinna, Emma's daughter tries to tell her about how her father forbade her from going to college so she left when she completed school and how he wasn't the saint she makes him out to be. Later on in the film, Corinna asks her if she even remembers what father looks like. Her son has mixed feelings about the late father as well and doesn't sounds all that shocked about him going insane. The pressure is too much for Helene, who leaves the household along with Emma's son to find their own place and escape the tabloid drama.
Emma is exploited by everyone around her (The Communist couple, the media and the Anarchist). Each one promises them something that only benefits them. The reporter who claims to want to hear her side of the story only fabricates an article that would sell more copies. The couple who befriends Emma only want to use her husband's name to further their cause and the Anarchist wants to create havoc in the dead man's name as well. Nothing seems to go right for her as she is continued to be exploited and lives on only faint memories of her dead husband.
I have to highly recommend this film. Brigitte Mira carries this film very well in her lead role as Mother Kusters. The usual Fassbinder stock players co-star as well (Kurt Raab, Margit Carstensen, Karl Bohm, Ingrid Caven, Irm Hermann, Peter Chatel, Lilo Pempeit). I really enjoyed the story, the acting is superb and the direction and photography keep the movie moving and flowing. Those who enjoy Fassbinder or fans of films with social commentary will definitely want to check this one out.
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