Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven (1975)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Mother Kusters (Brigette Kira) is the wife of a factory worker who goes beserk one day, killing himself and the boss' son. Mother finds herself a media celebrity, which only serves to make herself and her late husband look like idiots. Later, Mother is "adopted" by a Communist couple who wish to exploit her husband's "act of defiance" for their own purposes. Finally left alone, Mother Kusters decides to stop living off her husband's notoriety and turn into a human being again. Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder used the 1929 film Mother Krausen's Journey to Happiness as a springboard for his own mysoginistic slant on opportunism. The film hit a bit too close to home in his own country, where it was banned from entering the Berlin Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection

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Brigitte Mira
as Mother Kusters
Ingrid Caven
as Corinna Corinne
Margit Carstensen
as Mrs. Thalmann
Karlheinz Böhm
as Mr. Thalmann
Irm Hermann
as Helene Kusters
Gottfried John
as Niemeyer Man in nightclub
Peter Kern
as Nightclub manager
Peter Chatel
as Photographer
Armin Meier
as Ernst Kusters
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

A witty, spare, beautifully performed political comedy.

Full Review… | July 24, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

No other director understands the strength of mediocre minds as does Fassbinder; when his films don't slip into derision, they can be ineffably moving, as this one is.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Fassbinder created another emotionally distancing, disturbing, yet always funny and fascinating picture.

Full Review… | September 18, 2006
TV Guide

The provocative filmmaker manages to show worker exploitation on the left while still hitting hard at the right.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

October 1, 2005

Quote not available.

March 5, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven

Has pacing issues in the middle, but the viewer's patience is rewarded with two cracking endings.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


Fassbinder's satire looks at the life of a middle-aged woman and her family after the death of her husband. Comic at times, dramatic others, and cynical throughout, with quiet desperation undercutting everything, here is a film bored with thinking and thought and the perception of better living through either.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Kind of like an unofficial sequel/re-telling of a similar story found in Fassbinder's Why Does Herr R Run Amok. This could actually be called Why Did Herman K run Amok as it's about what happens when a wife of a man who went nuts and killed someone and then himself is left to her own devices, or lack thereof, under scrutiny from the press and a lack of support from her children. It's very sad material, but continuing in that theme of urban alienation that can be found all over Fassbinder's catalog of films. Indeed, this might be one of the best "what-happens-after-someone-dies" movies, since it's all about the fall-out from something such as the Kusters case, where no one can really just say "he was crazy, he did it, that's it".

Jack Gattanella
Jack Gattanella

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