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1,087 Ratings


France, West Germany, 1982
Drama, Fantasy, LGBT+


Although the sailor Querelle (Brad Davis) is strong, he is also an outcast. The crimes he commits free him, and this freedom gives him power. The sailors on the naval destroyer submit themselves to Querelle’s gradual transformation and give in to his will.

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Querelle Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Frankly erotic and garishly artificial, shot on horizonless soundstages and bathed in orange and blue filtered light, it is both ridiculous and sublime.
June 27, 2017
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After putting off watching it for many years, I was surprised by how fresh and genuinely funny it is. More than anything, Querelle is a sui generis work that doesn’t clearly point toward “what could’ve been” had Fassbinder lived, but rather it’s yet another tantalizing one-off experiment, like so much of the director’s work, which plays upon themes and aesthetic strategies from Satan’s Brew, Effi Briest, and Veronika Voss (to name only a few).
December 03, 2014
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A bold cinematic renewal by way of an exalted tangle of sex and violence… The teeming cast of characters fight for power and pleasure while decked out in whimsical costumes and lit in garish colors amid ornate décor; the film’s literary roots show through in florid voice-overs and intertitles. Fassbinder’s heightened, brazen modernity points to new and influential paths that he didn’t live to take.
January 01, 2010
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