Franz Biberkopf (Gunter Lamprecht) is released from prison in Weimar Germany after serving four years for brutally murdering his girlfriend in a blind and drunken rage. After securing desirable parole terms and acceptable living arrangements, he is lured into the criminal underworld and embarks on a tragic relationship with an adoring prostitute (Barbara Sukowa). Unusual, glum, and extremely long, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's miniseries Berlin Alexanderplatz, from a novel by Alfred Doblin, is brilliantly directed, harshly lit, and hard to watch at times with the noted final episode being a surreal and occasionally transcendent trip. Lamprechecht, Sukowa, Hanna Schygulla playing Franz old acquaintance, and Gottfried John as an imbalanced manipulative pimp are all excellent.
*** 1/2 out of ****