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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.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brigitte Mira ...
Emmi
El Hedi ben Salem ...
Ali
Irm Hermann ...
Krista
Elma Karlowa ...
Mrs. Kargus
Anita Bucher ...
Mrs. Ellis
Gusti Kreissl ...
Paula
Doris Mattes ...
Mrs. Angermeyer (as Doris Mathes)
Margit Symo ...
Hedwig
Katharina Herberg ...
Girl in bar
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 June 1974 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

DEM 260,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original German title "Angst essen Seele auf" is deliberately grammatically incorrect, translating literally as "Fear eat soul up." The correct German form would be "Angst isst die Seele auf. It is a direct reference to Ali's bad german. The line of dialogue he utters is simply "Fear eat soul up" See more »

Quotes

Emmi Kurowski: We'll be rich, Ali... and we'll buy ourselves a little piece of heaven.
Ali: Why heaven?
Emmi Kurowski: Oh, just a fancy of mine.
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 Zomergasten: Episode #10.3 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
"The story of impossible love":
15 October 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

This powerful and gentle film tells the story of love and marriage of Emmi, a 60+ widowed German cleaning lady and Ali, a Moroccan immigrant mechanic who is more than 20 (I think close to 30) years her younger. Their affair and the decision to marry shocked everyone who knew Emmi: her grown children, her neighbors, coworkers (mostly, middle-aged widows as herself) and even the owner of a neighborhood grocery shop where she has been a loyal customer for years. The way clever and observant Fassbinder looks at their struggle to keep the relationship is deeply pessimistic - the couple could survive the obstacles that society would create for them. They can survive disapproval, misunderstanding and prejudice but at the very moment they think all problems are in the past, they find the emptiness inside and two lonely hearts together are even worse than one. The more I think of it the more I realize that "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" is among the best, the most poignant, gentlest and heartbreaking descriptions of unavailability for happiness ever filmed. What makes the movie even more poignant is the fact that both Fassbinder and El Hedi ben Salem, the man whom Fassbinder loved and who played Ali committed suicide in the same year, Fassbinder - a few weeks after El Hedi. The film is also a love letter to El Hedi. In one of the film's most moving scene, Emmi looks at the man with whom she so suddenly and desperately fell in love with admiration, longing, and wise sadness while he dries himself after the shower. It is not only Emmi looks at Ali, it is Rainer looks with love and affection at the man he loved through the lenses of his camera.


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