Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven

Synopsis: Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her annoying daughter-in-law thinks otherwise. The point, we soon find out, is moot: Mr. Kusters has murdered the personnel director at the soap factory where he works before committing suicide.
Genre: Drama
Production: Criterion Collection
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min


Last week, it was 1,600.

I'm getting slower.

I'm not getting any younger.

I must put some sausages in the stew.

Father is sick of your salads.

No wonder he keeps grousing!

If you knew how much poison

there is in meat and sausages!

Nothing but chemicals!

I know what proper nutrition is.

Dad likes his meat, Helene,

and he works for what he likes.

People just don't know

what's good for them.

But go ahead.

It's yourselves you're harming.

One man's meat is another man's poison.

Dad wants what he's always been used to.

You can't change him.

And why should you?

He's healthy.

You won't make a vegetarian out of Dad.

I don't want to, Mom.

But people should know what

they're eating.

Ernst can tell you all about

the chemicals in sausages nowadays.

Nothing but chemicals and preservatives!

Yes, yes.

Franz was telling me about Finland.

It rains all the time, he said...

and it's as cold as ice...

especially now in spring.

But we've booked, Ernst!

Besides, heat's no good in my condition.

I need a mild climate.

And anyway, better cold than hot.

Anyway, it's quiet there

and that's the main thing.

The whole year, I stand in the cold-store

and I have to spend...

my vacation at the North Pole! It's stupid!

You must think of our child, Ernst.

I know why we're going to Finland.

If you don't think,

I have to think for two.

Do you think your Ernst would be

so strong if he didn't eat meat...

just your salads?

Don't worry, Mom. I'll be OK.

I just meant, because of the climate...

How often have I told you

you should retrain for another job?

Then you wouldn't have to stand

in that cold-store. It's unhealthy, anyway.

Ernst always wanted to be a butcher.

You have to be able to change your life.

Everyone knows that.

We are interrupting our program

for a special news flash.

At a chemical plant near Frankfurt...

a mentally deranged worker...

beat his personnel manager to death...

and then committed suicide

on a machine in the production hall.

The cause of this terrible tragedy

is still unclear.

The police are continuing

their investigations.

And now, we return to our music program.

The things that happen nowadays!

What's keeping Dad?

It's past 6:

He'll come. He always has.

"At a chemical plant," they said.

Is a tire factory a chemical plant?

Sure it's a chemical plant.

Everything's chemicals nowadays.

Where do you think all the dirt

and pollution come from?

That'll be Dad.

He must have forgotten his keys.

I don't have much time.

There's something I have to tell you,


Something terrible has happened.

To Hermann?

Yes, he's...

He killed himself. At the plant.

He's dead?

Yes, but...

there's worse to come.

Before that...

Before that, he killed someone.

Beat him to death.

The boss's son, Dr. Berthold.

At the chemical plant.

Hermann must have heard something

about mass layoffs...

and he just blew a fuse.

Telephone for you, dear.

I think it's your mother.

I told her not to phone

during working hours.

Hennecke hates it.

She said it's important, dear.

She's all worked up.

OK, I'll go.

Hello, Mom!


Sorry to phone you, but-

Mother, you know that...

Yes, but listen...

it's about Dad.

- You must come right away.

- What's happened?


Dad's dead.

He killed himself.

And there's something else.

Oh, Mother, don't cry!

You mustn't cry.

Just a moment.

Something's happened to my father.

Mom, take care of yourself!

Don't get upset!

I'll come as soon as I can.

My Hermann.

I couldn't even see him.

And you know what they're saying?

That he's a murderer.

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (German: [ˈʁaɪ̯nɐ ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈfasˌbɪndɐ]; 31 May 1945 – 10 June 1982) was a West German filmmaker, actor, playwright and theatre director, who was a catalyst of the New German Cinema movement. Although Fassbinder's career lasted less than fifteen years, he was extremely productive. By the time of his death, Fassbinder had completed over forty films, two television series, three short films, four video productions, and twenty-four plays, often acting as well as directing. Fassbinder was also a composer, cameraman, and film editor. Fassbinder died on 10 June 1982 at the age of 37 from a lethal cocktail of cocaine and barbiturates. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Mar. 2021. <>.

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