Young Isolde Barth has an interesting but small role in this film, as the wife of the interviewer whom we don’t meet till quite near the end – indeed by the time it is too late for Elvira. Barth seems to have been a very busy actor, and made regular Fassbinder appearances from The Stationmaster’s Wife in 1977.
It’s her job here to push Elvira into the final trap. It’s a shame that when people most need us, it’s eleven o’clock at night or even later when they get in touch, often as we are preparing for the night. Isolode Barth - her character's name is Sybille - is typical here, firm that the last thing she wants as a young bourgeois is a visit from a weirdo late at night, particularly one on a collision course with death.
But then, minutes later once the weirdo is gone, Barth listens to Elvira’s tape, and although it’s hard to tell whether she is moved or not, she does so in a complete state of innocence, naked and therefore open. It is this exposure that eventually causes her and her husband to return to Elvira’s house where they are interviewed and searched for weapons by the ever strange chauffeur.
Over the entire end of the film, we hear Elvira’s recording, as begun by Isolde Barth while naked – and it makes a fairly dull and monotone listen – as if Elvira’s thoughts are really no more than nervous rambles, and as if she has nothing really to say, nothing of any profundity at least –although she often sounds like she’s aspiring to that with her talk of love and philosophy. The lesson learned is that the world doesn’t really revolve around us, much as we might think. Our actions hurt others, which is worse than them hurting themselves, and our justifications for our actions, are generally lost in a drivel of ideas that don’t much hang together anyway.