I review the new Facets release of Alexander Kluge’s 1973 feature Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave for the Turner Classic Movies website.
The second release in Facets Video’s “The Alexander Kluge Collection” spotlights the director’s 1973 Part-Time Work Of A Domestic Slave, his third feature film and his second collaboration with his sister Alexandra Kluge, star of his 1966 debut feature Yesterday Girl. In some ways, you could see this as a loose sequel to his debut. Once again he approaches a politically-charged subject with a mix of narrative melodrama and cinematic essay and views society from the perspective of a female protagonist. Where Alexandra played a young émigré who arrives from the GDR penniless and jobless looking for her place in the economic miracle of sixties West Berlin in the earlier film, here she’s very much a part of the seventies and yet struggling just the same. Roswitha Bronski is a 29-year-old housewife and mother of two young children trying to balance family with a part-time job while her demanding, self-absorbed husband Franz (Bion Steinborn) finishes his graduate studies.