Pioniere in Ingolstadt (1971)

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Movie Info

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1946-82) made over 30 films in his short career. This film, adapted from the 1920s play by Marieluise Fleisser, is his homage to playwright Bertolt Brecht. Here, as in Brecht's plays, the situation of the characters in the story mirrors their overall society, and serves to highlight criticisms of that society. The "recruits," or "pioneers," were the German equivalent of Roosevelt's WPA (Works Progress Association) men -- in this case, soldiers put to work building public projects. Socially, they are of lower status than the Feldwebel (the noncommissioned officers who lead them). The film shows them at work and at play -- play consisting mostly of "quickies" in the park with willing local girls, or sex with prostitutes when they can afford them. Discussions of their boredom and their status in society occupy the rest of their time.

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Critic Reviews for Pioniere in Ingolstadt

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Fassbinder's simplicity in framing the action is often a tonic, but the lip-smacking depictions of cruelty remain as problematic as ever.

Jun 25, 2001 | Full Review…

It's a powerful film, shot quickly and economically with incredible cinematic poetry.

Jun 24, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Fassbinder is clearly bored...and it shows.

Sep 2, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

What could be the basis of a wild teen flick, in Fassbinder's hands, turns into a coldly calculated examination of the impossibility (or at least the improbability) of love.

May 12, 2003 | Full Review…

The comedy attempted is perverse and dry, while the mood of the film alternates between being melancholy and less melancholy.

Nov 18, 2002 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

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