Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982)
Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech), an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her house, food, clean clothes and her favourite: morphine. Voss, trying to come back towards the cinema, cannot perform an absurdly simple scene, but it attracts the attention of the journalist, who suspects that something's very wrong regarding her doctor.
Compared to the two other films in the BRD trilogy, The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola that were inspired by and wrote as 1950’s melodramas, Voss is more like a Film noir with a doomed loved story and no clean characters. The whole trilogy is a dedication to Fassbinder’s American influences and his favorite stories. With Voss, he exploits Cinema and the once great UFA in Germany during the silent era. Back then, Germany was at the forefront of the seventh art. But sadly, Hitler and the Nazi party took power and used films as one of the most important tools for its devastating propaganda.
Fassbinder does not make a process about the Germany’s use of the media but deals with the effects it had on many of its actors. When a nation has such a past it is difficult not to think about it but also it is even harder when no ones talks about it.
As beautiful as the film Veronika Voss looks, it might be the one I liked the least of the three films populating the BRD trilogy. Fassbinder is a better melodrama storyteller than a film noir filmmaker even if he was one if not the best director of the German New Wave together along with Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders.
Fassbinder died in June of 1982 having called one of his close friends and telling him he flushed down all of his drugs except for one line of cocaine. This last one, like a last tour de piste would eventually kill him during the night and stop his great career of 40 films at only 36 years old. The main characters of his BRD trilogy were all women of intense scale. Veronika Voss would probably be the one that represents him the best.