Visconti meets "Dallas" in Schlingensief's official remake of Veit "Jud Süss" Harlan's "The Great Sacrifice" (1944)!
Schlingensief exposes his source material's dangerous proximity to kitsch and camp by reducing the genre conventions known from Harlan, Sirk, Fassbinder & Co to the level of a daily soap: set within a noble family from the German Ruhr, Schlingensief's story revolving about Willy von Mühlenbeck's tragic love to terminally ill neighbor girl Äls (Susanne Bredehöft) and the inheritance intrigues by his evil brother Martin von Mühlenbeck (Helge Schneider) creaks with melodramatic devices and self-conscious dialogues. Rather than being a mere spoof, "Mother's Mask" is perhaps Schlingensief's purest black comedy.
With Udo Kier as The Demonical Man From Child Protection Services!
Soundtrack by Helge Schneider!
"In Veit Harlan’s work you have these strange, murky German conversations that you also get in Fassbinder. Irm [Hermann] is at the window and she says, “My God, Hans… Poor Hans… What’s wrong with Hans?” She’s speaking in this trancelike way. In Veit Harlan’s stuff people sit and say, “Every Sunday… at the same time…we get our spiritual nourishment.” So everything is floating around in this profound German atmosphere. Or fog!"
- Christoph Schlingenisef, Christoph Schlingensief and His Films