Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Gods of the Plague

Gods of the Plague

Harry Baer plays a newly released ex-convict who slowly but surely finds his way back into the Munich criminal underworld. Meanwhile, his attentions are torn between two women (Hanna Schygulla and Margarethe von Trotta) and the friend (Günther Kaufmann) who shot his brother. This sensual, artfully composed film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a study of romantic and professional futility.

Film Info

  • Germany
  • 1969
  • 92 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • German

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

Early Fassbinder

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


Gods of the Plague
Hanna Schygulla
Joanna Reiher
Margarethe von Trotta
Harry Baer
Franz Walsch
Günther Kaufmann
Carla Aulaulu
Ingrid Caven
Magdalena Fuller
Jan George
Lilo Pempeit
Marian Seidowski
Marian Walsch
Micha Cochina
Yaak Karsunke
Hannes Gromball
Supermarket manager
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Dietrich Lohmann
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (as Franz Walsch)
Thea Eymèsz
Art direction
Kurt Raab
Peer Raben


Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder
Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder

From the beginning, it was clear that Rainer Werner Fassbinder was destined to shake up German cinema.

By Michael Koresky


Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer, Director

Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder made an astonishing forty-four movies—theatrical features, television movies and miniseries, and shorts among them—in a career that spanned a mere sixteen years, ending with his death at thirty-seven in 1982. He is perhaps remembered best for his intense and exquisitely shabby social melodramas (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)—heavily influenced by Hollywood films, especially the female-driven tearjerkers of Douglas Sirk, and featuring misfit characters that often reflected his own fluid sexuality and self-destructive tendencies. But his body of work runs the gamut from epic period pieces (Berlin Alexanderplatz, the BRD Trilogy) to dystopic science fiction (World on a Wire) as well. One particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life—an interest that wedded him to many of the other artists of the New German Cinema movement, which began in the late 1960s.