Forgetting is necessary for an individual, but a catastrophe as a collective society.
Fassbinder’s radiant “Marriage of Maria Braun” is a parable of the post WWII economic boom in Germany; largely begat from a national denial of recent atrocity. At first, Maria Braun, as definitively played by Hannah Schygulla, will not side with her homeland, and refuses to move on from her husband who went MIA during the war. At first.
The settings of bombed-out buildings turn into nightclubs, which become plush offices and mansions. Maria, in what is both her strength and tragedy, remains completely in control of her trajectory; seemingly upwards, and certainly away from her shambled beginning.
But Fassbinder never lets his characters move on entirely from their past, without them realizing worse consequences born from the effort of denial and disremembering.