- Format: Multiple Formats, Colour, NTSC, Subtitled
- Language: German
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: U
- Studio: Criterion
- DVD Release Date: 24 Jun. 2003
- Run Time: 94 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000093NQY
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,771 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Criterion Collection: Ali: Fear Eats Soul [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Ali Fear Eats(Cc)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder paid tribute to his mentor, Douglas Sirk, with this loose adaptation of All That Heaven Allows, the classic 1955 American story about a widow falling for younger man to the disapproval of family and friends. Fassbinder combines the Sirk melodrama with the story told in his own The American Soldier. An ageing, lonely charwoman (sweet old Brigitte Mira) befriends a Moroccan guest worker (El Hedi ben Salem) at least 20 years her junior. Finding comfort and happiness in one another's company, they suddenly marry. Her kids are aghast, his friends appalled, and the neighbourhood turns its back, so the two pull together for support. Their relationship ironically begins to unravel when the pressure of community prejudice eases and they must confront the gulf between them. Combining melodrama with social commentary, Fassbinder offers a sharp, incisive portrait of prejudice in modern Germany grounded in contemporary social conditions. Mira delivers a tender, vulnerable performance and Fassbinder moulds Salem's stiffness into a distinctive character trait of a man ill at ease in German society. It's an assured and beautiful film, full of gliding camerawork and evocative images, and invested with intimacy and gentleness. Even Fassbinder's characteristically grim conclusion defies tragedy for a glimmer of hope, a welcome and affecting rarity in his career. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Needless to say it is one of my favourite films and this Dvd version has some excellent bonus material also.
Like his later film, Fox and his Friends, Fear Eats The Soul uses the central relationship to comment on contemporary German society and their treatment of the outsider. In 'Fox', it was the shallow upper-classes who passed scorn on the working-class carnival worker, essentially using his capacity for love (and his naive understanding of human emotion) in order to get their hands on his recent lottery winnings. In 'Fear', however, the villains of the piece are the same working class characters that seemed so simple and idealised in the film yet to come; the close-friends, neighbours and co-workers who should be celebrating the relationship, instead... set out to destroy it. In 'Fear', Fassbinder is attempting to hold a mirror up to the latent racism of the post-war generation, drawing on the country's dark past and sense of collective historical guilt (...not just of Germany, but of Europe as a whole).Read more ›
A film which depicts a country not long out of the shadows of 1932-1945, with the lingering resonances spreading throughout the culture. There are some very neat scenarios of people standing staring aghast as the older woman takes her Moroccan lover into the bosom of Germany. The film is set in Bavaria, one of the most conservative of the Lander.
Exploring themes of race, age, need, friendship, desire and fear Fassbinder depicts both a story of stress and resilience. Within the despair is a hope as the couple begin to overcome the inherent prejudice. Part of the problem is the lack of foresight and planning to gradually introduce the relationship as everything takes place at a canter.
Whilst showing the hostility, Fassbinder also depicts the other elements which dissolve racism, when someone is needed for something, the barriers begin to wilt and also economics. The shopkeeper cannot keep on ignoring his customers if he wants them to use his shop.
The stress of illness is also explored and how it impacts upon the body, along with the everyday violence people face in trying to live their lives as if they were normal and the world around is abnormal. The impact upon "Ali" is gradual but corrosive as the tries to make it work.
Having dealt with this situation within psychotherapy, except different cultures English man married to a Japanese woman, it brought home to me the streams of emotional violence which exist to attack the relationship.
A very good poignant psychological treatise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After a small delay the dvd arrived in good order. I played it and it is of excellent qualityPublished 7 months ago by E. Holmes
This 1974 film, directed by Rainer Fassbinder, tackles not one, but two taboo subjects. The love of an older woman, for a much younger man, and the inter-racial aspect that he is... Read morePublished on 25 April 2013 by Beetleypete
Wow! What an amazing film. I highly recommend this film to all film buffs who love films with an emotionally human story. Read morePublished on 27 Mar. 2011 by Paula Frew
This is one of my favourite films: moving without being mawkish it deals with difficult themes without pretending to offer easy answers. Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2010 by Paul Murphy