End Of The Week Shorts 6.2 extract: Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1974)
Ali: Fear Eats The Soul is a film by the prolific New German Cinema auteur, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It follows a 60-year-old German and a 20-year-old Moroccan in a relationship, exploring themes of racism, discrimination, alienation and hostility. Though this isn't a unique subject to tackle, Fassbinder does well in his assessment of the idea that close relationships are born and thrive on understanding.
However, beyond this there's not much more of merit about this film. Both the acting and the script have a horrific rhythm to them, and we are constantly held at a distance, both directorially and through the script, from each and every character. I could see the argument that this distance allows a more realist commentary to be formulated, but, this simply disengaged me. What's more, there is no tremendous profundity to be found in this narrative. With a better incite into the characters provided, this narrative would have been far more immersive, giving the final message much more impact.
All in all, this is an ok film, but not much more.