Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

94 minutes

Rainer Werner Fassbinder takes Douglas Sirk's Hollywood melodrama All That Heaven Allows and pushes it over the brink: it becomes the story of a May-December romance between a Moroccan guest laborer and an aging German hausfrau. The visual style is mostly Sirk's as well—it emphasizes artificially cheerful primary colors and imprisoning frames within the frame—though the distant, drained, but finally impassioned acting style is pure Fassbinder. This 1974 film stands as one of Fassbinder's sturdiest achievements, posed between the low-budget funkiness of his early features and the mannerism of his late period. In German with subtitles.

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