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186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul 
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Post 186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul
Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed many films in a tragically short career. Drugs would cut his life short before reaching 40. This was his third film and eight years later he would be dead. It helps to know just a little more about the controversial German director to get context for this movie.

In a bar in Munich a bunch of immigrants hang round drinking beer. A short, overweight, middle aged German woman eneters for protection against the rain. Ali, a tall muscular Moroccan garage mechanic is challenged by his friends and ends up dancing with her - they fall in love and get married.

At this point you're thinking, huh? That sounds improbable and you'd be right.

The balance of this 92 minute film is mainly taken up with their bitter rejection by her family, neighbors, workers and society as a whole. They fear immigrants, in fact the truth is that they fear change and difference.

it's a startling and thought provoking movie because the setup throws you off balance. The lead actors are exceptional in their understatement of the situation and you'll find it almost impossible to take your eyes off the screen.

I really loved this movie having watched it with no previous knowledge at all.

I'm no expert on Fassbinder having only previously seen Querelle. Next up from him is the daunting 931 minute Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Has anyone seen Ali: Fear Eats The Soul?
Rob


Wed May 11, 2011 5:28 am
Post Re: 186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul
Funny you should mention this. I'll be watching this, All That Heaven Allows, and Far From Heaven (which I've already seen - courtesy of you, by the way!) tonight. I'll let you know what I think.

Theoretically, I was supposed to have already watched Ali for my Film History II class, but I left early that day to finish an essay for another class. As it turns out, my teacher loved that essay. Good choice.

On a side note, I watched most of Moolaadé last night. Really digging it so far. I'm not sure why it might be considered a great film, but it is a very good one.


Wed May 11, 2011 11:11 am
Post Re: 186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul
Pedro wrote:
Funny you should mention this. I'll be watching this, All That Heaven Allows, and Far From Heaven (which I've already seen - courtesy of you, by the way!) tonight. I'll let you know what I think.

Theoretically, I was supposed to have already watched Ali for my Film History II class, but I left early that day to finish an essay for another class. As it turns out, my teacher loved that essay. Good choice.

On a side note, I watched most of Moolaadé last night. Really digging it so far. I'm not sure why it might be considered a great film, but it is a very good one.



Ah hah, the wonderful Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene. Amazing how he could take such a dreadful subject and create such a work of beauty. I've watched everything from him I can lay my hands on.

Of course, adding in some Douglas Sirk to his compatriot Fassbinder is a smart move. My girlfriend and i adore those old melodramas.

I cannot get Ali out of my head, very interested to hear what you think, Pedro!

Rob


Wed May 11, 2011 12:04 pm
Post Re: 186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul
Sorry for posting that late. I never thought "Fear Eats The Soul" to be on the "great movies" list. I love this movie and of course I own it on DVD.

Actress Brigitte Mira, well over midle aged (age 60) and rather unattractive, but a very skilled actress that is, gives a wonderful and moving performance. The moroccon actor who portrays Ali: El Hedi ben Salem, was at the time the homosexual partner of Fassbinder. His voice was dubbed in the orginal German version by a professional voice actor in a broken but intelligible German. The original title contains on purpouse a grammar error (which got lost in translation). "Angst Essen seele Auf" would translate literally to "fear eat Soul" (these words are uttered by Ali in the movie).

It's a wonderful tale about two social outsiders, comforting each other in a prude, hypocritical
and (mostly) xenophobic Germany in the early 70s.

Fassbinder made this "as an exercise" in between the films Martha and Effi Briest. Shooting took less that two weeks.

This is a wonderful little movie. I hold it in high esteem.


Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:39 pm
Post Re: 186 - Ali : Fear Eats The Soul
EDIT: Ooops, my post accidentally appeared twice. Please remove this (redundant) post as soon as possible. Thanks.


Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:39 pm
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