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Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

West Germany 1972 495 mins. In German

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.