Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Lola is the third in Fassbinder’s studies of postwar Germany. (Veronica Voss is the middle one, planned, although not filmed, between Lola and Maria Braun.) Fassbinder commented, “Maria Braun and Lola are stories that are only possible in the time when the story takes place. And they are, as I hope, parts of a comprehensive portrait of the Federal Republic of Germany that make it easier for this peculiar democratic structure to be understood—also the threats and dangers. To that extent these are very political films.”

Lola (Barbara Sukowa) is a postwar descendant of the showgirl Lola Lola from Josef von Sternberg’s classic 1930 film The Blue Angel (played by Marlene Dietrich), and she has the same devastating and corrupting impact on the men who become involved with her. Here her victim is von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a conscientious new building commissioner appointed to the region. The film parallels its predecessor in its portrait of the cynical exploitation of love and the way sex cements sleazy dealings between businessmen and public officials, although the rest of the story is quite different. The style of Lola is cinematically self-conscious. Fassbinder employs a mobile camera, which eavesdrops on people, an obtrusive sound track full of radio broadcasts boasting about the new Germany, and very surrealistic lighting.

— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

  • Section: Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Modern Renaissance Man
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: Germany
  • Run Time: 113 min.
As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]