The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder1972West Germany125 mins

Join us for a 50th anniversary screening of a landmark of queer cinema, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. One of the prolific director’s enduring classics, the film utilizes a galvanizing, all-female cast, a single apartment setting, and razor-sharp dialogue to tell the story of a celebrated fashion designer who begins a dangerous infatuation with a vain model nearly half her age. As delicate as a porcelain figurine and as volatile as a wild animal in equal measures, Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen in her most legendary role) lives with her devoted and criminally mistreated assistant Marlene (Irm Hermann) in a luxurious Berlin loft. Creatively stagnant and living vicariously through her past successes, Petra finds the inspiration she’s lacking when she lays eyes upon the beautiful but icy Karin (Hanna Schygulla).

Frameline46 will also screen Peter von Kant, French director François Ozon’s bold, gender-swapped re-imagination of the film, starring Denis Ménochet in the title role, Hanna Schygulla trading Karin for the role of the von Kant matriarch, and Isabelle Adjani as Peter’s muse and confidante.


Masks and proof of vaccination are not required for this screening.
Quick links
Original Language Title
Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
West Germany
Running Time
125 mins
In German with English subtitles
Narrative Features, Fully-Subtitled Films, Only in Theatres
Program Note Writer
Joe Bowman
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