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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
"Angst essen Seele auf" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 June 1974 (France)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 9,861 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 76 critic

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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Edit

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

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

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

Referenced in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An actor's director
1 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

I'm going to limit my comment to one aspect of this brilliant movie: the acting. I think Ali: Fear Eats the Soul may be the single best-acted film in the history of cinema. It's a simple story told simply but the unique and realistic performances create an emotionally charged, unforgettable experience for the viewer. Ali is completely Ali. Emmi is completely Emmi. There is not a hint of artifice in either performance. The only other performance I can think of which is similar is Bjork's dazzling turn in Dancer in the Dark.

There is so much to discuss in Fassbinder's work but what always strikes me in his films is the performances. No director has ever produced a body of work with actors who act the way Fassbinder's actors do. And not always in the same way. Ali features completely natural acting. Despair features highly stylized acting - pure artifice to counter the pure guilelessness of Fear Eats the Soul. The American Soldier - well, you have to see that film to believe it, especially the ending. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant displays what might be identified as a "typical" Fassbinder type of performance with passive, languid characters merely posing - or rather posed by Fassbinder.

When we think of auteurs, we think of writer/directors but the actors and their performances are the tangible realization of that auteur's vision. Fassbinder knew how to manipulate this dimension of the medium of film as well or better than any other director.


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