Volker Schlöndorff1971-1980CrimeDramaGermany

Volker Schlöndorff – Die Moral der Ruth Halbfass AKA The Morals of Ruth Halbfass (1972)

from Hans-Bernhard Moeller and George Lellis, “Volker Schlöndorff’s Cinema”

Volker Schlöndorff based his film “Die Moral der Ruth Halbfass” on a rather spectacular murder case that involved a rich Düsseldorff industrialist’s wife, Minouche Schubert. The case was the stuff of tabloid newspaper exposés, and to some extent “The Morals of Ruth Halbfass” was a calculated attempt by Schlöndorff to win over a popular audience.

The movie’s central situation smacks of cliché: a wealthy, superficially glamorous couple, united in a loveless marriage, tolerate one another’s joyless extramarital affairs until attempted murder complicates things. On close inspection, however, there is a lot more complexity to “The Morals of Ruth Halbfass” than immediately meets the eye. Schlöndorff uses the movie’s familiar narrative framework as a context in which he makes a number of serious observations about contemporary German life and culture. He also undercuts usual genre expectations by using unsympathetic characters whose comportment always keeps the audience conscious of their place in a larger social system.

Extras: The interview with Volker Schlöndorff

1.33GB | 1h 26m | 762×572 | mkv




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