deanacroogpaper2 - Deana Croog German 304: From Berlin to...

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Deana Croog German 304: From Berlin to Hollywood Professor Barton Byg Paper 2 Draft 4/21/11 The Marriage of Maria Braun tells the story of a beautiful, powerful woman’s transformation in post-war Germany, commenting on Germany’s economic, societal, and moral reconstruction. Fassbinder’s film contains numerous filmic devices that delineate Germany and its people’s transformation following the war. Maria Braun epitomizes the modern femme fatale ; she reacts to oppressive gender roles by having several affairs to elevate her career, and uses her sexuality and beauty to escape blame and responsibility. Another Fassbinder film, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is also set in post-war Germany, though Emmi, the 60 year old female protagonist, aged and lonely (though also a WWII soldier’s widow) is instead a mechanism through which Fassbinder illuminates the effects of a “morally bankrupt” and oppressive society on Emmi and her Muslim husband, Ali (Bright Lights Film Journal). Both films reveal, through fatalist melodrama, the self- destructive tendencies and effect of oppression on post-war German psyche, though in different ways. Maria Braun’s whirlwind journey reveals the negative effects of the Economic Miracle and oppressive gender expectations on the female psyche, while Emmi’s journey reveals the effect of oppression and alienation from her racist circle of
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deanacroogpaper2 - Deana Croog German 304: From Berlin to...

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