Lena Rais (1980)

Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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An insightful, well-rounded, and often acerbic look at the slow burn of a middle-aged housewife, Lena Rais says a lot in its 116-minute running time. Lena (Krista Stadler) begins to feel like a tool for her husband's sexual needs and an automatic machine for her children. Her life is losing its meaning and she wants to do something about it. She wants out -- but when she leans in that direction, her husband starts to abuse her physically. He wants the old passive Lena back again and abuse is the only way he understands to get what he wants. Lena muddles along awhile longer and ends up rebelling by having a brief fling with an altogether bad sort, which lands her in psychotherapy. This chain of events finally gets her the advice and encouragement she needed all along, and the brave woman faces up to her violent husband and a future without him.