Angst Essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2007
Very touching movie. Emmi is one of the great screen heroines.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2013
A delicate and deeply resonating melodrama like only Fassbinder could have made, telling with plenty of honesty a simple but objective love story centered on revolting matters like prejudice and racism - problems relevant even today when it comes to immigrants in Europe.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2007
One of cinema's most unconventional love stories is also one of the most touching and authentic I've ever seen. A simple and sweet little triumph from Fassbinder, with Brigitte Mira giving a completely unforgettable performance.
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2011
For sure in my all time top 5. The first time I watched this I was glued to the screen. It totally took me by surprise. The scene where Fassbinder cameos as the son-in-law objecting to the relationship is perfect.
axadntpron
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2011
Although I can clearly see what Fassbinder was going for, I believe it could have been executed much better. As it is meant to expose the unjust racial discrimination and the social stigma that came along with miscegenation in the early 1970's, Fassbinder could have benefitted from developing their relationship a bit more. In order to show that Ali and Emmi have a partnership based on love and respect as opposed to an immoral amorous affair, Fassbinder should have taken the time and care to show their relationship blossom.
However, I do applaud the film for being gutsy in a lot of ways. It reminded me of Kramer's "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" if it were void of understanding characters such as Spencer Tracy's. It is a powerful statement that Fassbinder was trying to make, unfortunately the lack of character development renders it ineffective in a lot of ways.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2007
more than 30 years old but it could've happened yesterday. one of the most simple and affecting love stories i've ever seen
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2009
A very unconventional love story that director Rainer Fassbinder made "to fill the time" between his larger budget productions.

Angst Essen Seele auf is an intimate portrait of the relationship between a sixty-something German widow and her forty-something Moroccan lover. Fassbinder effectively (and brilliantly) conveys their isolation and the whirlpool of racism and bigotry that surrounds them.

This is a very odd film that is surprisingly touching and eloquent.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Great film. Wonderful colors and a touching but unconventional love story...
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2007
This is one of the films I'm studying for my post-war German film class. Though I had heard this was a brilliant film I didn't know quite what to expect - suffice to say I was very pleased. This is a beautiful film which, at the surface, is a wonderful love story between two unlikely people. Deeper down, its a film about taboos and racism and how social milieu can break down the morals of the most well intentioned people and corrupt even the most wonderful relationship - it is one of the best love stories I have ever seen on film, but there are many deeper themes at work that enhance the film. This is the first Fassbinder film I have seen and I am definitely impressed - he seems to have a style that is instantly recognizable. For example, the majority of the shots in the film were framed in some way, either by a doorway, window, table, or any number of other objects - this was truly unique and it fascinates me. Like his New German Cinema colleague, Werner Herzog, it appears that Fassbinder always likes to turn his films into almost moving paintings at times - the opening scene, in particular, exhibited this to a great extent. The performances by the actors playing the lead characters, Ali and Emmi, were very great and very honest. If you ever get the chance to see this film, do it - it's a work of art.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2011
I'm not a big Fassbinder fan, but I did like "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul." Nice that it wasn't as relentlessly squalid and degenerate as many of his other films, and Brigitte Mira's performance is absolutely wonderful. However, I enjoyed the first half more than the second. Once Fassbinder hooked these two interesting characters together, it seemed like he couldn't decide whether to give them a happy ending or a sad one. So instead he wobbled along both paths simultaneously, then just bailed out and gave the film no ending at all. This movie simply shuts down, without any sort of satisfying resolution.

It also has a notably poor, misleading title -- it sounds like some sort of no-budget zombie flick! And I don't know why the "Ali" prefix was added for the English market. Very awkward, and just makes me think of, say, "Manos: The Hands of Fate."
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]German director R. W. Fassbinder took a long, hard look at racism in Germany in his 1974 film "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul". At its heart, it is an immensely heartbreaking love story between a very unlikely couple - Emmi, a middle-aged widow who works as a cleaner and Ali, an immigrant from Morocco, 20 years her junior. Most of her fellow countrypeople react with shock and dismay in the least.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]The movie is set specifically in Munich which made me think about two things:[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]1) Munich was also the setting of the 1972 Olympic terrorist attacks - two years before this movie was filmed.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]2) Emmi takes Ali to a restaurant she said Hitler used to frequent. Hitler is invoked on a few occasions in the film. This got me thinking that the racism in Germany was possibly going on a long time before World War II and also afterwards. And some of the treatment of immigrants in this movie reminded me of some of the recent debate concerning immigrant workers in my part of the world.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]But "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is also about loneliness. Fassbinder treats his lonely characters with utmost respect. I had never seen a movie that captured the loneliness of a person when he immigrates to another country and is cut off from his home, culture, friends and family, quite so well. Some of Emmi's loneliness stems from her lack of contact with her grown children.[/font]
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2013
This is my introduction to Fassibender and I will be watching more of his films. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul revolves around a romance between an elderly widow and an Arab foreign worker. It's filmed and set in Germany. Much like interracial marriages were looked at in the US it was frowned upon. The story is simplistic, the film never moves out of a realistic view point. While the ideas were depressing I never actually felt any emotion. I don't know why, the acting was genuine enough, and the story had me gripped. Even during the family meeting I didn't feel anything, emotionally I wasn't present. While I liked what the ending thirty minutes did, I don't think it was executed perfectly. It was to sudden, I wouldn't have minded an additional thirty minutes of footage to make it more evened out. This is still a phenomenal film considering how little it revolves around. Tension was always boiling, and the story had me gripped. You don't have to be adventurous to enjoy this, so I recommend it to everyone.
3.5 stars+
GS
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2012
Aesthetically amazing. The cinematography makes it interesting to watch and the performances of Ali and Emma are perfect. The film is devoid of any contrived or melodramatic emotion. It moves forward calmly. The ending is a little hard to absorb because it ends oddly, but that is in touch with the rest of the film. Fassbinder alienates and yet manipulates the viewer's emotion extremely well. Astonishing how much subtext is in the film, I was watching something and thinking about it at the same time throughout the entire film. Strange and raw film which comments on racism but in a very organic and effective manner.
lesleyanorton
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2010
German drama about a relationship between a cleaning lady and a half-her-age Moroccan man, much to the disgust of their friends and relatives. The racism seems dated now but the age discrepancy still surprises - clever Fassbinder.
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2010
In between the lines of the "against all odds" romance lies one of the most extreme portrayals of racial prejudice(implied as being heightened by the Munich Olympics Massacre), very much ironic to Fassbinder's minimalist treatment. We have just discussed all about "social stigma"(or informal sanction) inflicted to those breaking the norms of society in our Sociology class, and I was quite surprised at how relevant this film was to that particular course of mine. And although "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is a realist picture in the literal sense, director Fassbinder has able to insert some auteur touches, those of which has benefit the film much and gave it a more artistic, almost hypnotic edge, departing from the common "raw" feel being applied to majority of realist films. Brigitte Mira gave a very heartfelt performance as Emmi, the woman aged by time and blinded by love. Her evocative moments of melancholic stares perfectly accompanies the long, hanging shots incorporated by Fassbinder. "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" treads the soil of realism all throughout its duration, but the eponymous characters' collapse near the end may very well be the companion interpretation of the title, resulted not by some health complications, but an implication of the vermin-like gossiping and hypocrisy that plagued his relationship with Emmi. Just like almost all films of the German New Wave movement, "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is a mirror reflecting society, but one in very much danger of shattering.
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2007
Beautiful colour, and uncommon love story. Fassbinder is really amazing. The whole scene when the lady enters the bar is brilliant. This movie will make you want to see more of Barbara Valentin, the bartender, she's really amazing and beautiful in it.
November 18, 2013
Although Fassbinder made this frank drama about racial prejudices and social relations in 1970s Germany, the themes are universal. Fear Eats the Soul has a number of scenes of real dramatic power, however it never quite reaches the masterpiece status that many have ascribed to it.
February 12, 2010
A lonely, socially disenfranchised scullery maid weds a strapping young blackamore and incurs the vicious, racist wrath of her family and acquaintances in Ranier Fassbinders compelling, timeless tragedy of anguish and despair. The benevolent cleaning lady, Emi Kurowski, and the Moroccan, Ali, are swept together by a tide of mutual loneliness, but their union is strained by random acts of hostility visited upon them by a blindly conventional community.

Emi is only forgiven for her transgression when her cruel peers realize that their ability to ruthlessly exploit her is now in jeopardy. As the external pressures over the couple begin to subside, internal conflicts surface. The film's ending, as sudden and melodramatic as life can be, is a reflection of the unendurable tension Ali experiences as a stranger in a hostile land. But Emmi is able to suggest a solution: "When we're together, we must be nice to one another.''
November 3, 2010
Heartbreaking. This is the only Fassbinder film I've seen so far and it's one of the truly greatest.
½ March 28, 2009
Not much to say other than its a almost perfect film about forbidden love. Austere and underplayed. Simply Sublime.
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