8.1/10
14,366
50 user 101 critic

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Angst essen Seele auf (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 5 June 1974 (France)
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An arrogant fashion designer falls in love with an icy beauty who wants to be a model.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hans Hirschmüller, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla
Veronika Voss (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A washed up UFA actress, kept by her doctor, raises suspicion in a sports journalist.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young West German working-class man wins the lottery and initiates a relationship with a man above his social standing.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peter Chatel, Karlheinz Böhm
Lola (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In post-war West Germany, the charming Von Bohm is appointed a city's new Building Commissioner. His morality is tested when he unknowingly falls in love with a brothel worker, Lola, the paid mistress of a corrupt property developer.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mario Adorf
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Both the parents of a young teen who walks with crutches, goes on each their secret meeting with lovers, both surprising each other at the family's county home. The daughter arrives and initiates a guessing game of "Chinese roulette".

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Anna Karina, Margit Carstensen, Brigitte Mira
Fear of Fear (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Margit Carstensen, Ulrich Faulhaber, Brigitte Mira
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Wolfgang Schenck, Ulli Lommel
Lili Marleen (1981)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In Switzerland German singer 'Willie' falls in love with Jewish composer 'Robert' who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks that 'Willie' is also a Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Giancarlo Giannini, Mel Ferrer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This drama follows the last few days in the life of Elvira (formerly Erwin) Weisshaupt. Years before, Erwin told a co-worker, Anton, that he loved him. "Too bad, you aren't a woman," he ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John
Katzelmacher (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Lilith Ungerer, Rudolf Waldemar Brem
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brigitte Mira ...
El Hedi ben Salem ...
Ali
...
Krista
...
Anita Bucher ...
Mrs. Ellis
Gusti Kreissl ...
Paula
Doris Mattes ...
Mrs. Angermeyer (as Doris Mathes)
...
Hedwig
Katharina Herberg ...
Lilo Pempeit ...
Mrs. Münchmeyer
Peter Gauhe ...
Bruno Kurowski
Marquard Bohm ...
Gruber
Walter Sedlmayr ...
Angermayer
Hannes Gromball ...
Waiter
Hark Bohm ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

Emmi, a German woman in her mid-sixties, falls in love with Ali, a Moroccan immigrant worker around twenty-five years younger. When they abruptly decide to marry, everyone around them seems appalled. When the folks calm down a bit, Emmi and Ali's relationship grows uncertain. Written by Oliver Heidelbach

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 June 1974 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 260,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Girl in bar: Well... are you coming?
Ali: No.
Girl in bar: And why not?
Ali: Cock broken.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the introductory credits there is the line: Das Glück ist nicht immer lustig (Happiness is not always fun) See more »

Connections

Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Du Schwarzer Zigeuner (Cikánka)
Written by Karel Vacek
Performed by R.A. Dvorský
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A German Update of "All That Heaven Allows"
14 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's quietly powerful film is a sort-of remake of Douglas Sirk's "All That Heaven Allows," a film and director greatly admired by Fassbinder, but it has a sharper edge than Sirk's film. In "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul," the couple fighting a society's prejudice and resentment of their unconventional love must fight some of their own prejudices as well. In Sirk's film, the only thing imposing on the complete happiness of Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson was the busy-body ostracism of family and friends who didn't approve of the relationship between a rich society widow and her working-class gardener. In "Ali," Fassbinder suggests that happiness isn't something that's gained from the approval of others, but rather is the responsibility of the individuals involved. One of the things I liked best about this film is that as the German society gets used to the unconventional romance and begins to accept our two protagonists, the couple themselves begin to struggle to maintain a grip on the happiness they thought would be their's by right.

Fassbinder's unconventional couple are a frumpy German widow and a Moroccan immigrant 10-15 years younger than her. I gather from this film that Moroccans (or Arabs in general) were about as hated and feared in Germany at the time of this film's release as blacks were in America during the worst of the civil rights movement. So you can imagine how the couple's initial courting and subsequent marriage is handled by their neighbors, friends and family. Fassbinder himself was gay, and many suggest that the film is an allegory for the way homosexuals were persecuted. Fassbinder's private life undoubtedly informed his film, but the movie is really more universal than that. It really applies to anyone who's ever suffered the judgement of a group of people over something that didn't even affect those people, and really, who can honestly say that they've never been subjected to that?

Fassbinder directs in a low-key, unfussy style, yet he creates images and scenes that linger in the head long after the film is over. It's a lovely film, very well acted, scripted and directed. It's not exactly sad, because it argues that societies are able eventually to adapt to new things and accept things they originally rejected. But it's not exactly happy either, because it suggests that relationships don't necessarily become easier just because external obstacles are removed.

Grade: A


18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page