Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day

Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day

Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical—yet far from cynical—perspective. Over the course of five episodes, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day”: A Series Becomes a Family Reunion, a 2017 documentary directed by Juliane Lorenz, featuring interviews with actors Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Wolfgang Schenck, and Hans Hirschmüller
  • New interview with film scholar Jane Shattuc
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar Moira Weigel

New cover by Sam Hadley



Purchase Options

Released Oct 9, 2018

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day”: A Series Becomes a Family Reunion, a 2017 documentary directed by Juliane Lorenz, featuring interviews with actors Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Wolfgang Schenck, and Hans Hirschmüller
  • New interview with film scholar Jane Shattuc
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar Moira Weigel

New cover by Sam Hadley



Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day
Cast
Gottfried John
Jochen
Hanna Schygulla
Marion
Luise Ullrich
Grandma
Werner Finck
Gregor
Anita Bucher
Käthe
Wolfried Lier
Wolf
Christine Oesterlein
Klara
Renata Roland
Monika
Kurt Raab
Harald
Andrea Schober
Sylvia
Thorsten Massinger
Manni
Irm Hermann
Irmgard
Wolfgang Zerlett
Manfred
Wolfgang Schenck
Franz
Herb Andress
Rüdiger
Rudolf Waldemar Brem
Rolf
Hans Hirschmüller
Jürgen
Peter Gauhe
Ernst
Grigorios Karipidis
Giuseppe
Karl Scheydt
Peter
Victor Curland
Kretzschmer
Rainer Hauer
Supervisor Gross
Credits
Director
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Writer
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Produced by
Peter Märthesheimer
Director of photography
Dietrich Lohmann
Production design
Manfred Lütz
Production design
Kurt Raab
Production design
Gisela Röcken
Editor
Marie Anne Gerhardt
Music by
Jean Gepoint

From The Current

Is Fassbinder’s Working-Class TV Drama Effective as Political Art?
Is Fassbinder’s Working-Class TV Drama Effective as Political Art?

A public-television commission intended to raise class consciousness, Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day inspired heated debates about its political orientation.

/
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day: The Utopia Channel
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day: The Utopia Channel

In a world vulnerable to authoritarianism, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s television epic stands as an example of how an artist can speak to a broad audience about revolutionary politics.

By Moira Weigel

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​Jon Dieringer’s Top 10
​Jon Dieringer’s Top 10

The founder of the website Screen Slate picks a selection of favorites, including an ’80s indie gem, shockers ranging from Eraserhead to Canoa, and two films that capture the “twilit feeling of childhood.”


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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.