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Fear Eats The Soul DVD


Rainer Werner Fassbinder already the director of almost twenty films by the age of twenty-nine 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. They fall in love - to their own surprise - and to the shock of family colleagues and drinking buddies. Fassbinder expertly uses the emotional power of the melodrama to underscore the racial tensions threatening German culture at the time.

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder writes, directs and stars in this German romantic drama. In Munich, a tentative love affair between German native Emmi (Brigitte Mira) and the younger Moroccan immigrant Ali (El Hedi Ben Salem) threatens to buckle under the class tensions and racism exposed by their relationship. After meeting in a bar and beginning a joyous romance together, the pair wed but shortly after are faced with strong objections from Emmi's family, colleagues and neighbours who castigate her for the relationship. Dismayed by the constant social rejection, Emmi too begins to adopt the prevailing xenophobic attitudes towards her husband in order to regain her social acceptance. Will she realise the error of her ways before Ali walks out of her life forever?

  • Average Rating for Fear Eats The Soul [1973] - 4 out of 5

    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • Fear Eats The Soul [1973]
    Chen Ping

    Ali Fear Eats the Soul is probably Fassbinder's most easily accessible film, and one of his most touching.
    It shows us the dynamics of a romance between a German widow and a much younger Moroccan guestworker in 1970s Munich. They become targets for racism, agism and political concervatism. But they love each other and survive, kind of.
    These dynamics are expressed not only in the dialogue and narrative elements of Fassbinder's film but also the decor, framing of shots, camera angles and movement. Ali Fear Eats the Soul is at once melodramatic (a la Sirk), anti-melodramatic (a la Bert Brecht), expressionist, pessimistic yet not simply defeatist.
    This is an important film from "the last great director of the twentieth-century" and deserves to be seen. Furthermore, this DVD features a 50 minute documentary about Fassbinder, a 50 minute interview with the man, an interview with director Todd Haynes, one of his early short films - "The City Tramp", a theatrical trailer and liner notes. The feature is deserving of all these extras and the DVD, in my Fassbinder worshipping mind - is a must own.

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