FEAR EATS THE SOUL (Angst essen Seele auf)
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder pays tribute to his celluloid hero Douglas Sirk, with an updated version of Sirk’s 1955 movie All That Heaven Allows.
Sirk's classic movie follows a lonely, middle-class widow (Jane Wyman) who falls for a handsome young gardener (Rock Hudson). But her family and friends respond with disgust as her lover belongs to a lower social class.
Fassbinder pushes the ideological boundaries even further by making his heroine’s lover not only younger, but Moroccan, in order to explore the racial tension inherent in post-war German society. His lonely widow is Emmi (Brigitte Mira), who meets Arab worker Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar. They fall in love but are immediately shunned by her family and friends, who are disgusted she has married a foreigner. But, despite her love for Ali, Emmi demonstrates the racism that is ingrained in the German mind as she brags about his body and makes him show his muscles – thereby belittling and objectifying her own husband to her friends.
Won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974.
Language: German/Arabic with English subtitles
“A truly unmissable film not only for the biting attack on a prejudicial society, but for the touching plot, raw performances and innovative, thrilling camerawork most directors can only dream of.”
- Leanne McGrath, EyeForFilm