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The Merchant of Four Seasons

6.9
682
Ratings
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Original title
Händler der vier Jahreszeiten
Year
Running time
89 min.
Country
Germany - West Germany (FRG) Germany - West Germany (FRG)
Director
Screenwriter
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Music
Rocco Granata
Cinematography
Dietrich Lohmann
Cast
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Producer
Tango Film
Genre
Drama
Synopsis / Plot
Der Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (The Merchant of Four Seasons) is one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's several "bourgeois films" that depict and critique middle-class society. The film deceptively unfolds like a standard bourgeois melodrama: there is the black sheep son, the disappointed mother, the unhappy wife, the sympathetic sister. Its protagonist, Hans (Hans Hirschmüller), deteriorates predictably: the love of his life marries another for prestige, his mother openly despises him, his wife manipulates him, he cannot run his business himself, and he drinks himself to death. Yet, these generic constructs match the middle-class ritual that emasculates and destroys men like Hans. When his loving sister defends him to his family, he hushes her. Hans has accepted his place as the pathetic character that they describe. He does not know enough to blame those around him for his emotional destruction, and (as brilliantly embodied by Hirschmüller) cannot leave them for a better life because they have already sucked up his courage and strength. Many films attack the bourgeois, but very few have the guts to show a heterosexual man as its victim. Hans' story is both different and effective. Aubry Anne D'Arminio - All Movie Guide.
Awards
1971: 2 German Film Award: Best Actor and Actress
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