Händler der vier Jahreszeiten
***½/**** Image A Sound A Extras A
starring Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla, Hans Hirschmüller, Marian Seidowsky
written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
by Jefferson Robbins When beleaguered costermonger Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmüller) shouts his wares in the courtyard well of a grey Munich apartment block, he might as well be shouting into the void. Although his singsong calling of the prices of fruits is mesmeric, it summons practically no customers. Blocky and straining against his own skin, Hans has been humiliated all his life, and the manner in which he makes his livelihood is a further humiliation in the eyes of his family. The word used for "livelihood" in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Merchant of Four Seasons is the German noun Existenz. Clearly, it has multiple edges.