Rainer Werner Fassbinder's controversial, fifteen-hour-plus Berlin Alexanderplatz, based on Alfred Döblin's great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age thirty-four, had already made forty films. Fassbinder's immersive epic, restored in 2006 and now available on DVD in this country for the first time, follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to "become an honest soul" amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany. With equal parts cynicism and humanity, Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time.
Two new documentaries by Fassbinder Foundation president Juliane Lorenz: one featuring interviews with the cast and crew, the other on the restoration
Hans-Dieter Hartl's 1980 documentary Notes on the Making of "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
Phil Jutzi's 1931, ninety-minute film of Alfred Döblin's novel, from a screenplay co-written by Döblin himself
New video interview with Peter Jelavich, author of Berlin Alexanderplatz: Radio, Film, and the Death of Weimar Culture