Lili Marleen is a West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Hanna Schygulla, a key actress in several of his films and a wonderful singer in her own right. The screenplay was produced using the autobiographical novel Der Himmel hat viele Farben (The Heavens Have Many Colors) by Lale Andersen. However, according to Lale Andersen's last husband, Arthur Beul, the film's plot bore little relation to her real life.
In Switzerland German singer 'Willie' falls in love with Jewish composer 'Robert' who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks that 'Willie' is also a Nazi and may be a risk for them. One day 'Willie' helps 'Robert' but has to stay in Germany. As Willie starts to sing the song 'Lili Marleen' she becomes very famous and every soldier hears that song via radio at 8 pm. Although even Hitler wants to meet her she still does not forget 'Robert' and helps to smuggle photos of concentration camps to the free Switzerland. When 'Robert' wants to visit her he is captured he can finally get free again but he will never see Willie again until war is over.
Click Here for a detailed biography and filmography in Wikipedia.
Click Here for the full bio of Fassbinder in IMDb by: Steve Cohn from which the following is extracted:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and even antigay, he completed 44 projects between 1966 and 1982, the majority of which can be characterized as highly intelligent social melodramas. His prodigious output was matched by a wild, self-destructive libertinage that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema (as well as its central figure.)
Known for his trademark leather jacket and grungy appearance, Fassbinder cruised the bar scene by night, looking for sex and drugs, yet he maintained a flawless work ethic by day. Actors and actresses recount disturbing stories of his brutality toward them, yet his pictures demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social misfits and his hatred of institutionalized violence. Some find his cinema needlessly controversial and avant-garde; others accuse him of surrendering to the Hollywood ethos. It is best said that he drew forth strong emotional reactions from all he encountered, both in his personal and professional lives, and this provocative nature can be experienced posthumously through reviewing his artistic legacy.
His death is a perfect picture of the man and his legend. On the night of June 10, 1982, Fassbinder took an overdose of cocaine and sleeping pills. When he was found, the unfinished script for a version of Rosa Luxemburg was lying next to him.