Fassbinder’s success was dependent upon a government-subsidy system of unparalleled generosity (he got a separate salary for each role he undertook—director, producer, writer, star, cameraman, composer, etc), which supported work likely to be critical of West German society and unloved by commercial moviegoers. Had he lived longer he would have seen the end of subsidy programmes under Helmut Kohl and likely found himself at the raw mercy of the commercial imperative.
“The Fass and the furious: the remarkable career of Rainer Werner Fassbinder” at