Ali:Fear Eats the Soul
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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.
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. --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
And love she does - she falls for Ali, a Moroccan worker with a gentle soul and a partial command of the German tongue. Ali is 20 years younger than her, but he falls for her gentle ways. They sleep together on the first night, and despite the hostility of her family, her co-workers and local group, she marries him quickly. They are very happy together, but the anger of all around her wear her down. Finally she goes off on a vacation with Ali, promising him that when they return everything will be better.
An in an amazingly bizarre plot device, things ARE better. Suddenly everyone who was mean to them before finds reasons to be nice - selfish reasons. The grocer wants her money back. Her son wants her to care for the granddaughter. The apartment-mates need help moving equipment. Emmi doesn't care - she's just happy that everybody is being nice again. But Ali is getting frustrated. He gave up his soul to be with Emmi, and while Emmi is regaining her friends again, Ali has nothing. He is still stuck with a foreign tongue, living in a foreign landscape. All he asks for is some cous cous to remind him of hime - and Emmi harsly tells him to get used to German cooking.
So Ali, who is a drifting reed through most of this story, drifts back into his Arab world.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This movie is not simply about racism, xenophobia, or any soap box preaching - these are simply the background. Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by Imran Currah
Undoubtly, Fassbinder made this film thinking in Douglas Sirk. The script is carefully made, around a woman in her third age who decides breaking the rules. Read morePublished on May 8 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
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