Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
(The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant)
The successful fashion designer Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen) lives in an opulently furnished loft with her assistant and servant Marlene (Irm Hermann) who executes all her orders without a word and who endures all her moods. Petra – with a daughter (Eva Mattes) from her first marriage and divorced from her second husband – falls in love with Karin (Hanna Schygulla), ten years her junior, whom she wants all to herself. While Karin exploits the affluent Petra, she also insists on her own independence. When Karin’s husband arrives unexpectedly from Australia, she returns to him. Petra is desperate. Bit by bit she begins to understand: “I have never loved Karin, I only wanted to own her.” Petra then offers Marlene – heretofore treated like an object – collaboration, liberty, fun. But Marlene packs her suitcase and leaves without a word.