After her husband first killed his boss and then himself in reaction to an announced mass layoff, “Mother Küster” is appropriated by all and everybody for media attention. She is photographed at the stove by a tabloid reporter, turned into a case study at the party congress of the German Communist Party DKP, and used as an identification figure by an anarchist group at a hostage-taking at the tabloid’s office. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s loose adaptation of the proletarian silent movie Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness shifts the plot from the red Wedding of the 1920s to bourgeois Frankfurt in the 1970s, and thus to the culture wars between the BILD, DKP and RAF. A reflection on the attention economy of gender roles between the political fronts of the 1970s.
With a surprise film afterwards!
Bettina Köhler is a film scholar and public historian. Her research interests include visual history, film history and the staging of history in film.