Dear Hark Bohm has had many a Fassbinder role over the years, and has a face and acting style suited to several types, one of which we see in evidence here: the corrupt local official. Bohm is the mayor who, when he is not hiding out in the brothel, is in cahoots with everybody, particularly the local land developer. In fact, in all of Lola, we never see Hark Bohm doing anything remotely honest. Instead, the life of the local official is portrayed as a fairly active whirl of successive and corrupt meetings, interspersed with prostitution.

 

Brilliantly, the one time we do catch the mayor at work, Hark Bohm portrays him playing with his pen, bored and yet still compelled to open and close it, and watch. Hark Bohm has a tragic hangdog quality that he can produce. He is great also at playing the small man thinking big, which he does with a black and white American cityscape here. The mayor in LOLA has no personality at all, to speak of, but he merely exists to serve the corruptions of others and to see what else his office can provide him.

What is great about all Fassbinder films, this one included, are the many messages that simultaneously hit the viewer; the system is corrupt, but we know that; and the individuals, generally have the redeeming quality of only being human.