Fassbinder's finest? Perhaps. His most iconic? Definitely. Look, I am way too shallow to cherish Fassbinder’s arty approach, but whatever his original intentions, he has truly erected a monument to an infamous song.
"Lili Marleen", the Third Reich’s ultimate smash-hit: Composed by a Jew in smoky pubs. Baptized in Anti-Semitism. Played in heavy rotation across the Nazi-frontlines. And ultimately, and that's central to the story, celebrated as one-size-fits-all soundtrack in WWII-trenches all over the world.
To this day there’s something powerful about this evergreen. Although it suggests untold different things now — from stripped of any political meaning to world-music nostalgia. In a weird way, its ambiguous kitschiness is, ironically enough, hypnotic and timeless. This movie is too.