“The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant” is a film- intellectual stylization in which sexual exoticism and melodramatic accent serve as vehicles for Fassbinder’s elaborate analysis of today’s culturally elitist sensibility. The very style of cinematic narration reflects affectation of the film’s characters (when sincerity and pretense don’t contradict one another but unite in the art of spontaneous creativity). Fassbinder’s narrative style is semantically dense to an exceptional degree as his tool for the probing the characters’ psychology and the content and plot of the film. The film is a romantic parody, a work of art that analyzes its own love toward the world we live in today, love in spite of everything. It is a confession in being tremendously attracted to what can be called a modernity in human emotions, but Fassbinder’s melting attraction to it is going together with his ascetic effort to comprehend and to criticize what is so irresistible in today’s human beings with an intellectual calling. Petra von Kant is the best of us, and she is also an alerting sign of danger that the charm of democratic modernity carries inside. The analysis of the very mechanism of the aestheticism of living and feeling is not an easy adventure. Fassbinder mobilizes his scholarly powers to penetrate the aesthetic charms of the main protagonist and her reasoning about life. The predatoriness he finds in the very depth of democratic worldview is, no question, more veiled and even beautified than in pre-democratic behavioral style and in today’s neo-conservative demarches, but simultaneously it is more insidious and more seductive. This film is a necessary gift to anyone with an aesthetic sensitivity and the need to think what is behind the surface of life. It is about the human intellectual power (personified by the director’s thinking in and through the cinematic visuality) deployed against the beauty of the film’s images, and it is about the beauty of the intellectual power deployed against the defensive structures which the minds of the protagonists create to confuse and to entertain themselves and one another.