Sunday, June 18, 2023 1pm to 3pm
About this Event
5030 Brunson Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146https://cosfordcinema.com/event/more-selections-from-the-sight-sound-list-ali-fear-eats-the-soul-1974/
Conducted every 10 years, the Sight & Sound Best Movies of All Time poll is voted on by film critics, writers, professors and other experts in the field of cinema. A concurrent poll is open only to directors, and their results often vary wildly from the main poll. The Cosford Cinema will be showcasing ten selections from the filmmakers’ list every Sunday over the summer from June 4-August 13.
ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (1974) | DIRECTOR: Rainer Werner Fassbinder. WITH: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin, Irm Hermann. | RUNNING TIME: 1H 32M | UNRATED Adult language, sexual content, brief violence, drug use | In German with English subtitles | 4K DIGITAL PROJECTION
The prolific German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder paid homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with this update of that filmmaker’s 1955 All That Heaven Allows. A lonely widow (Brigitte Mira) meets a much younger Arab worker (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar during a rainstorm.
They fall in love, to their own surprise—and to the outright shock of their families, colleagues, and drinking buddies. In Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, which ranked 58th in the directors' poll, Fassbinder expertly wields the emotional power of classic Hollywood melodrama to expose the racial tensions underlying contemporary German culture.
“The film is powerful but very simple. It is based on a melodrama, but Fassbinder leaves out all of the highs and lows, and keeps only the quiet desperation in the middle. The two characters are separated by race and age, but they have one valuable thing in common: They like one another, and care for one another, in a world that otherwise seems coldly indifferent. When Emmi shyly confesses she is a building cleaner, she says many people look down on her for that. Ali, whose German is limited, expresses his position more directly: “German master, Arab dog.”
“Fassbinder often made films about characters cynically exploiting one another through sexuality. In “Ali,” there is a startling tenderness. The tall, bearded Moroccan offers to walk the cleaning woman home. It is raining, so she invites him in for coffee. He has a long tram journey to the district where he lives. She asks him to spend the night. He cannot sleep, and wants to talk. She tells him to sit on her bed. As often as I’ve seen the film, I’ve never quite noticed the precise moment when he takes her hand and begins to caress her arm. — Roger Ebert