Watch Stroszek

"A Ballad"
  • NR
  • 1977
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 7.7  (14,981)

Stroszek, a 1977 film directed by German filmmaker Werner Herzog, tells the story of a man named Bruno, played by Bruno S., who is released from prison and decides to start a new life in West Berlin. Accompanied by his friend Scheitz and girlfriend Eva, played by Clemens Scheitz and Eva Mattes respectively, Bruno heads off to the United States in search of a better life.

The film opens with Bruno being released from prison and reuniting with his elderly neighbor, who gives him a little bit of money and a tacky jacket. From there, he makes his way to a West Berlin apartment and soon befriends Scheitz, a professional mechanic who claims to have worked on the Apollo 11 space mission. Through Scheitz, Bruno meets his girlfriend, Eva, and the three of them decide to pool their resources and head to America.

The first half of the film takes place in West Berlin, with Bruno and Eva striving to make a new life for themselves. The scenes here are bleak and often comical, with Herzog focusing on the mundanity and hopelessness of their situation. The trio spends their days wandering the streets of the city, visiting cheap bars and strip clubs, and doing odd jobs to make ends meet. One particularly memorable scene features Bruno playing the accordion outside of a supermarket, while Scheitz attempts to fix a broken engine in the parking lot.

Eventually, after struggling to make a living in West Berlin, the three decide to make their way to America. The second half of the film follows their travels across the Atlantic and into the desolate plains of Wisconsin. Here, Bruno, Eva, and Scheitz encounter a number of odd characters, including a prostitute named Kathy and a bizarre old man who lives in a trailer.

As they settle into their new home, the trio encounters a series of setbacks. Bruno's attempts to make a living as a musician fail, and Eva's job as a waitress proves to be insufficient to keep them afloat. When a series of unexpected expenses arise, including the need for a new heating system and a car, Bruno takes out a loan from a local bank. Soon after, however, they are evicted from their home and forced to live out of their car.

Throughout the film, Herzog's camera lingers on the faces of his characters, emphasizing their isolation and vulnerability. Despite their best efforts to make a new life for themselves, the trio is ultimately unable to escape the poverty and hardship that they left behind. As the film draws to a close, Bruno is left alone in a desolate landscape, playing his accordion as the credits roll.

Overall, Stroszek is a haunting and poignant film that illuminates the struggles of those on the margins of society. Through his characters, Herzog deftly captures the hopelessness and isolation of those who are trying to start anew, but are ultimately unable to escape their circumstances. The film is marked by its surreal humor and bleakness, but also by its deeply felt sense of empathy for its characters. For those looking for a thoughtful and emotionally resonant film, Stroszek is not to be missed.

Stroszek is a 1977 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.

Where to Watch Stroszek
Stroszek is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Stroszek for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (14,981)