RIALTO CHANNEL – Sunday 30 December, 10.45pm
Drama: The Marriage of Maria Braun opens with the marriage ceremony under siege. Bombs dropping all around them, Maria (Hanna Schygulla) weds Hermann, a German soldier she has known only briefly during the waning days of World War II. After a one-day honeymoon, Hermann returns to the Russian front, and Maria keeps a daily vigil at the train station, searching for any word about her husband. When word comes that he has died, she refuses to mourn her loss. Instead, she trades her mother’s brooch for a sexy black dress and finds work as a bargirl. In the redecorated confines of an old school gymnasium, she meets a black American GI, and begins a relationship with him. A chance meeting on a train with a factory owner, Karl Oswald, earns her a secretarial job. She begins an affair with Karl, and soon proves to be a formidable businesswoman. Maria’s single-minded rise through the company’s ranks mirrors the renaissance of the German post-war economy.