New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Introduction from 2003 by filmmaker Todd Haynes. Interviews from 2003 with actor Brigitte Mira and editor Thea Eymèsz. Shahbaz Noshir’s 2002 short Angst isst Seele auf, which reunites Mira, Eymèsz, and cinematographer Jürgen Jürges to tell the story, based on real events, of an attack by neo-nazis on a foreign actor while on his way to a stage performance of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s screenplay. Signs of Vigorous Life: New German Cinema, a 1976 BBC program about the national film movement of which Fassbinder was a part. Scene from Fassbinder’s 1970 film The American Soldier that inspired Ali Trailer PLUS: an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of almost twenty films by the age of 29, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's All That Heaven Allows. Lonely widow Emmi Kurowsky (Brigitte Mira) meets Arab worker Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar during a rainstorm. To their own surprise (and to the shock of family, colleagues, and drinking buddies) they fall in love. In Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen seele auf), Fassbinder expertly uses the emotional power of the melodrama to underscore the racial tensions threatening German culture.