ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Run Time: 93 min. Release Year: 1974 Language: German
Starring: Barbara Valentin, Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Elma Karlowa, Irm Hermann
The wildly prolific German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder paid homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with this update of that filmmaker’s 1955 All That Heaven Allows. A lonely widow (Brigitte Mira) meets a much younger Arab worker (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar during a rainstorm. They fall in love, to their own surprise—and to the outright shock of their families, colleagues, and drinking buddies. In Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Fassbinder expertly wields the emotional power of classic Hollywood melodrama to expose the racial tensions underlying contemporary German culture.