Mother Kusters (Brigette Kira) is the wife of a factory worker who goes beserk one day, killing himself and the boss' son. Mother finds herself a media celebrity, which only serves to make herself and her late husband look like idiots. Later, Mother is adopted by a Communist couple who wish to exploit her husband's act of defiance for their own purposes.
Finally left alone, Mother Kusters decides to stop living off her husband's notoriety and turn into a human being again. Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder used the 1929 film Mother Krausen's Journey to Happiness as a springboard for his own mysoginistic slant on opportunism.
The film hit a bit too close to home in his own country, where it was banned from entering the Berlin Film Festival.