MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,565 this week

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

 -  Drama  -  5 June 1974 (France)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 9,662 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 70 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.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 18 Jul 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 25 Jan 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 29 Mar 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 03 Jun 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.

User Polls

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

People who liked this also liked... 

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 7.5/10 X  

Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart ... See full summary »

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 7.8/10 X  

Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss, an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess
Drama | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Franz "Fox" Biberkopf is a working-class guy, at loose ends when his lover is arrested and the police shutter their carnival booth. In need of cash for his weekly lottery purchase, Fox lets... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peter Chatel, Karlheinz Böhm
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wealthy couple, with a daughter Angela, a young teen who walks with crutches, tells each other they are off for the weekend on business (he to Oslo, she to Milan). Actually, both are ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Anna Karina, Margit Carstensen, Brigitte Mira
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Margit Carstensen
Effi Briest (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Lola (1981)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ten years after the war, West Germany's market economy is booming. Into an unnamed city that's rife with corruption comes a new building commissioner, Herr von Bohm, committed to progress ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mario Adorf
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Unusual gangster story, in which a small-time pimp Franz, who is torn between his mistress and Bruno the gangster sent after him by the syndicate that he has refused to join. Things are ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Ulli Lommel, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake
Fear of Fear (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
    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
Satan's Brew (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Walter, a German anarchist poet, is short of money after his publisher refuses to give him an advance. He tries various ways of raising money, including shooting one of his mistresses and ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Kurt Raab, Margit Carstensen, Helen Vita
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:

 »
Edit

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 Far from Heaven (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sad. True. Beautiful.
13 August 2003 | by (Erlangen, Germany) – See all my reviews

Munich, in the mid-70s: She enters the exotic bar because it's raining and maybe because she's a little curious what this place with that strange music is like. He asks her for a dance because his friends tell him to do so. He accompanies her home. He stays for the night. The fall in love. They marry.

All that sounds like your average Hollywood romance. But that's only half the story of 'Fear Eats the Soul'. Here's the other half: She, Emmi Kurowski, is a 60 year old, widowed cleaner, mother of three married children. He, Ali, is a black foreign worker from Morocco, 20 years younger than her, speaking a rather bad German (a more faithful translation of the German original title 'Angst essen Seele auf', a quote from Ali, would be 'Fear Eat Soul'). This film is not a cheesy romance, it is the story of two people who love each other and struggle with the rest of the world to be accepted.

But the people around them have problems. The neighbors are talking about them, Emmi's colleagues ignore her, the merchant refuses to serve them, and Emmi's children don't want to understand it - her son Bruno even destroys the TV set in his anger.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder is arguably the greatest German director ever, and with more than 40 films, TV series, TV films plus 16 theater plays he wrote, directed and often also (co-)starred in in a career that lasted only a mere 15 years, he is certainly one of the most efficient directors in film history. His best films are a criticism of German society after World War II by simple, but memorable stories with very well observed characters. And 'Fear Eats the Soul' displays Fassbinder's qualities best. In very simple shots (facial expressions, the use doors to stress the loneliness of his characters), he makes this films very emotional.

The film is sometimes described as naive. That's wrong. Maybe it is naive to believe that a 60 year old widow and a black 40 year old worker will fall in love. But the rest is as well-observed as a film can be: The fact that people's reactions change when they realize that it's easier to accept them and take advantage of them. That Emmi eagerly joins her colleagues as soon as they have found a new victim. That Ali goes to the waitress of his bar to get the two things Emmi can't give him - sex and his favorite dish.

And then the film has some amazing acting. But from the entire cast, Brigitte Mira as Emmi Kurowski stands out. Actually a comedic actress, she shines in this drama as a woman who struggles for acceptance. Her speech outside a restaurant, when all the waiters stare at them but don't serve them, is heartbreaking, her entire performance is unforgettable.

At first sight, 'Fear Eats the Soul' is a small, simple romantic film. But look closer and you'll see it is so much more, it is a comment on subliminal prejudices and selfishness. It shows what a film can do, even if its budget is tiny, if it only believes in the power of its story.


61 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fassbinder's prejudices revealed? Or not? imc9
A wonderful movie Barry-44
Similar Movies kikojones
Meaning of the name? Subhashisc
Theme Music mizzmodular
Couscous? jerry4444
Discuss Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?