Niklashausen Journey"The film shows how and why a revolution fails." (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
"It is absolutely necessary to tell a story that has something to do with us - isn't that much more important than the actual story of Hans Böhm?...The film shows how and why a revolution fails." (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
In 1476 the shepherd Hans Böhm of Niklashausen announced that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and told him to preach the revolution to the masses. The peasants flocked to him, but refused to help when Böhm was captured. The reason? They expected a miracle to save him.
Fassbinder does not portray Böhm as a medieval Messiah, but places the Niklashausen events in the contemporary framework of a revolutionary discourse. As the "Black Monk", Fassbinder himself skulks through the film spouting phrases such as "It is the duty of every Christian to be a revolutionary!" In his sweeping panorama of revolution per se, however, Fassbinder also shows how the masses can be manipulated to achieve revolutionary goals.