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Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day

This eight-hour, five-episode intimate epic follows toolmaker Jochen (the magnetic Gottfried John) and his extended family (Fassbinder regular Hanna Schygulla) as they navigate life in postwar West Germany. Focused on how a network of committed people can effect societal change, the episodes question domestic and labor structures within a transforming society. Comparable in quality and scope to Berlin Alexanderplatz, Fassbinder’s other big made-for-television series, Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day has languished in un-seeable obscurity since its very popular (yet controversial) initial airing on German television, now restored and ready for discovery. “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day debuts in America at an imperiled time to remind audiences what real political filmmaking is. A vital missing link in a brilliant artist’s oeuvre, [the series] reaffirms the most resonant ongoing assertion of Fassbinder’s career: that every life is worthy of a classic melodrama.”—Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine.

In German with English subtitles. 

Genres: Drama

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Fassbinder, who in his own way was always examining social norms and systems, here takes on the twin issues of explicit racism and love across generations, with his tale of the chance relationship between Moroccan guest worker Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) and aging, German-born housekeeper Emmi (Brigitte Mira), who meet in a bar when