After seeing Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven last night (recommended), I looked up one of its stars, Hanna Schygulla, on IMDb.com, to confirm that, yes, she was the star of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun, which led me to this plot synopsis of the film:
This movie follows the life of a young German woman, married to a soldier in the waning days of WWII. Fassbinder has tried to show the gritty life after the end of WWII and the turmoil of the people trapped in its wake.
That was the thing about Fassbinder. He tried and tried but always failed miserably. So glad IMDb had the courage to point this out.