Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht)
Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht) (1978)

Having made as many films as he had years, at 31, Rainer Werner Fassbinder essayed a slightly different approach for his 32nd film, Despair. Here, he uses a witty screenplay written by the well-known playwright Tom Stoppard, based on a… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 30, 1988
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Fassbinder films life in the cosseted class as a masque of glass and mirrors, replete with alluring deceptions and suave surfaces that belie volcanic passions.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Unpleasant but thoughtful and provocative psychodrama set in Berlin, in the 1930s.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Not one of [Fassbinder's] best.

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Time Out

Bold, garish and obsessive, but more than a little irritating.

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Philip Kemp
Total Film

Everything about Despair feels queasily off - the plot, the acting, the dialogue and the fussily over-decorated sets.

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Simon Abrams
Slant Magazine

Of the authorial trifecta that created Despair, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's voice is the most pronounced.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

The Stoppard script is a joy for anyone who likes the English language.

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Peter Bradshaw

A superb surrealist noir.

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Fernando F. Croce

A lambent house of cards

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Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
As Fassbinder's first film in English, this psychedelic drama may have an intriguing story but the direction is heavy-handed and lacks that conviction… More
Stefanie C
Personally, I think this is one of Bogarde's finest roles.