Acht Stunden sind kein Tag

Eight Hours Don't Make a Day
Personal quarrels and family disputes were cornerstones of early German drama series. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s mini-series also centres on a family, although their problems are transposed to society: collective bargaining, union meetings, strikes and the struggle for workers’ participation are reflected in the daily working lives and relationships of a family of toolmakers. Acht Stunden sind kein Tag (Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day) is an example of the so-called ‘worker film’, a genre developed by German broadcaster WDR in the late 1960s. For a short time it enabled filmmakers to address social realities and economic constraints in West Germany. The series’ main characters represent three generations whose attitudes to life range from progressive to conservative. The tone has a typical melodramatic feel as Fassbinder deconstructs the perfect world atmosphere that pervaded early post-war productions, and anticipates many of the themes of his later films featuring women. Luise Ullrich, a well-known screen actress in Germany in the 1950s, plays Gran, and Hanna Schygulla a lowly office worker. These two women are struggling for solidarity, but also for their own personal happiness.
by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
with Gottfried John, Hanna Schygulla, Luise Ullrich, Werner Finck, Irm Hermann, Wolfgang Zerlett, Wolfgang Schenck, Peter Gauhe, Renate Roland, Kurt Raab
Germany 1972/2017 German 478’ Colour Restored version Rating R6


  • Gottfried John (Jochen)
  • Hanna Schygulla (Marion)
  • Luise Ullrich (Granny)
  • Werner Finck (Gregor)
  • Irm Hermann (Irmgard Erlkönig)
  • Wolfgang Zerlett (Manfred)
  • Wolfgang Schenck (Franz)
  • Peter Gauhe (Ernst)
  • Renate Roland (Monika)
  • Kurt Raab (Harald)


Written and Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann
Editing Marie Anne Gerhardt
Music Jens Wilhelm Pedersen, Jean Gepoint (aka Fuzzy)
Production Design Kurt Raab
Make-Up Rosemarie Schönartz
Producer Peter Märthesheimer for WDR, Juliane Maria Lorenz restored version

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder Werkschau

Produced by

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Born in Bad Wörishofen, Germany in 1945, he was the most famous and internationally acclaimed director of the New German Cinema. His feature film debut Love Is Colder Than Death screened in the 1969 Berlinale. He was also a film and theatre producer, a writer and an actor appearing in both his own works and those of other people. In 1978/79 he began a trilogy featuring women in the midst of everyday German life: The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola and Veronika Voss. Fassbinder died in Munich in 1982 after having directed 44 films in just 14 years.

Filmography (selection as a director)

1966 This Night; short film · Der Stadtstreicher (The City Tramp); short film 1967 Das kleine Chaos (The Little Chaos); short film 1969 Liebe ist kälter als der Tod (Love Is Colder Than Death) · Katzelmacher · Götter der Pest (Gods of Plague) · Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? (Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?) 1970 Rio das Mortes · Das Kaffeehaus · Whity · Niklashauser Fahrt (The Niklashausen Journey) · Der amerikanische Soldat (The American Soldier) · Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte (Beware of a Holy Whore) · Pioniere in Ingolstadt (Pioneers in Ingolstadt) 1971 Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (The Merchant of Four Seasons) 1972 Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) · Wildwechsel (Jail Bait) · Acht Stunden sind kein Tag (Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day) · Bremer Freiheit (Bremen Freedom) 1973 Welt am Draht (World on a Wire) · Nora Helmer · Martha · Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) 1974 Fontane Effi Briest · Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends) · Wie ein Vogel auf dem Draht (Like a Bird on a Wire) 1975 Mutter Küsters’ Fahrt zum Himmel (Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven) · Angst vor der Angst (Fear of Fear) · Ich will doch nur, dass ihr mich liebt (I Only Want You to Love Me) 1976 Satansbraten (Satan’s Brew) · Chinesisches Roulette (Chinese Roulette) · Bolwieser 1977 Frauen in New York (Women in New York) · Despair – Eine Reise ins Licht (Despair) · Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn); episode film, director of one segment 1978 Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun) · In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden (In a Year with 13 Moons) 1979 Die dritte Generation (The Third Generation) 1980 Berlin Alexanderplatz · Lili Marleen 1981 Lola · Theater in Trance (Theatre in Trance) · Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (Veronika Voss) 1982 Querelle

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017