Shadow of Angels

Director: Daniel Schmid
Year Released: 1975
Rating: 2.0

Morbid picture based on Fassbinder's controversial play Garbage, the City and Death should have retained that original title - it's a case of I'm Miserable, You're Miserable, Everybody's Miserable. A prostitute (Ingrid Caven), tied to a complex, self-loathing pimp (Fassbinder himself ... and more or less as 'himself'), becomes the lover (and wife) of a conniving man referred to as the "Rich Jew" - she's so mixed up and tortured she asks her wealthy suitor to kill her (and he does!). There's no room for bliss in this, only the buzzing, glowing neon, so charges of anti-Semitism (against RFW) seem to miss the point: it isn't anti-Jew, it's anti-Humanity. Fassbinder has some perverse insights into "love" and its relationship to Capitalism (and the German Psyche), which would be explored in even more exacting detail in his masterpiece Berlin Alexanderplatz.