25 April, 2019 7:30 PM

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1974 | 94 minutes

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s subversive masterpiece, this wry and tender romance-cum-social-commentary has endured as one of its director’s most accomplished films.

Fear Eats the Soul centers around Emmi, a widowed lonely cleaning lady. Her husband died years ago, and her grown children offer little companionship. One night she goes to a bar frequented by immigrants and strikes up a friendship with younger mechanic Ali. Their relationship soon develops into something more, and Emmi’s family and neighbors criticise their spontaneous marriage. Soon Emmi and Ali are forced to confront their own insecurities about their future.

Set in Munich during the 1970s, Fear Eats the Soul melds the conventions of melodrama with a radical sensibility in order to present a portrait of racism and everyday hypocrisy in post-war Germany.