The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is based on events in Fassbinder’s own love life. Fassbinder became infatuated actor Gunther Kaufmann who, according to film analyst Ryan Gilbey, “soon realized that the attentions of an increasingly wealthy young film-maker could, with the minimum of reciprocation, prove profitable for him.” Fassbinder showered Kaufmann with gifts, including four brand new Lamborghinis. However, Kaufmann did not return Fassbinder’s affection, which then inspired Fassbinder to create the autobiographical film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. The film focuses on the love life of the successful fashion designer Petra von Kant. Petra is in the latter stages of mourning over the failure of her marriage to her husband. She lives alone with her live-in assistant Marlene, whom she treats terribly. Petra is more often than not seen barking orders at Marlene or taking out her frustrations on Marlene, while the latter takes everything in muted silence. As unstable as this dominion-based relationship seems, it seems to work for the both of them. The relationship between Petra and Marlene is a strange, albeit resolute, relationship. Petra is the dominant female, and Marlene is the devoted yet subservient assistant. Throughout the entire film, Marlene does not utter a single word. It...
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...| UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper. 11 Apr. 2003. Web. 11 May 2011.
Ruffell, Joe. "Rainer Werner Fassbinder." Senses of Cinema. 21 May 2002. Web. 11 May 2011.
Sayre, Nora. "Movie Review - The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant - Screen: Women in Love:The Cast - NYTimes.com." Movie Reviews, Showtimes and Trailers - Movies - New York Times - The New York Times. 13 Oct. 1973. Web. 11 May 2011.
Smith, Derek. "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Fassbinder, 1972)." Cinematic Reflections. 10 Sept. 2003. Web. 11 May 2011.
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