While gay carny laborer Franz “Fox” Bieberkopf (writer/director Rainer Werner Fassbinder) thinks his hand-to-mouth existence is finally over after he hits the lottery, his misery has only just begun, as he’s seduced, bilked of his money, and abandoned by a fallen aristocrat (Peter Chatel) and his circle. Fassbinder’s gripping and caustic class satire also stars Harry Baer, Karlheinz Böhm, Christiane Maybach. AKA: "First-Right of Freedom." 124 min. Standard; Soundtracks: German Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; featurettes; theatrical trailer. In German with English subtitles.
A lottery win leads not to financial and emotional freedom but to social captivity in this wildly cynical classic about love and exploitation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Lola, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul). Casting himself against type, the director plays a suggestible working-class innocent who let's himself be taken advantage of by his bourgeois new boyfriend (Peter Chatel) and his circle of materialistic friends, leading to the kind of resonant misery that only Fassbinder could create. Fox and His Friends is unsparing social commentary, an amusingly pitiless and groundbreaking if controversial depiction of a gay community in 1970s West Germany.