In a Year of 13 Moons

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In a Year of 13 Moons
In a Year of 13 Moons film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Produced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Written by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring Volker Spengler
Ingrid Caven
Gottfried John
Music by Peer Raben
Cinematography Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Edited by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Juliane Lorenz
Distributed by Tango-Film
Filmverlag der Autoren
Release dates
  • 17 November 1978 (1978-11-17)
Running time 124 minutes
Country West Germany
Language German

In a Year of 13 Moons (German: In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden) is a 1978 West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Volker Spengler.[1] The film was made in response to the suicide of Fassbinder's lover at the time, Armin Meier.


The film recounts the last few days in the life of Elvira (Volker Spengler), a transsexual woman formerly known as Erwin. After being beat up for trying to buy sex in a park, she returns home to her longtime lover Christoph (Karl Scheydt), who's been away for six weeks. Christoph abuses her verbally and physically, and when he announces he's leaving for good, she desperately tries to stop him, only to be rescued by her friend Zora (Ingrid Caven). We watch as Elvira and Zora visit a slaughterhouse and the orphanage where Elvira grew up, and her later contacts with her family and former lover Anton Saitz (Gottfried John), as she attempts to come to terms with the consequences of her decision to change her sex.



  1. ^ Canby, Vincent. "New York Times: In a Year of 13 Moons". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Fassbinder Foundation: In a Year of 13 Moons". Fassbinder Foundation. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 

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