An epic retelling of Alfred Döblin's eponymous novel about an ex-convict trying to become an honest soul in Weimar-era Germany, Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of the seminal achievements of Fassbinder's career. The series will be presented in five parts over three days.
Fassbinder first read Alfred Döblin's modernist novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) at 14, claiming it got him through a "murderous puberty." Two decades later he realised his dream of adapting it, in the form of a 14-part miniseries for West German television. The result is Fassbinder's magnum opus, an immersive epic chronicling the downfall of an ex-con during the declining days of the Weimar Republic. When Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) is released from prison after killing his lover in a fit of passion, he is determined to "become an honest soul." But as he struggles to find work and his sinister best friend Reinhold (Gottfried John) reappears to wreak havoc, Biberkopf finds himself slipping back into the underworld. As the tide of Nazism rises, the inescapable poverty, crime, and violence on the streets of Berlin sets Biberkopf's descent into motion, reaching a fever pitch in a two-hour epilogue of phantasmagoria.