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Fear Eats the Soul

Angst essen Seele auf

Fassbinder’s international breakthrough is an unconventional love story with devastating emotional power.

Image from Fear Eats the Soul

W Germany 1973
Dir Rainer Werner Fassbinder
With Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Irm Hermann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
English subtitles
Certificate 15
An Arrow Films release

Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power. Not a shot is wasted in this bold reworking of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, which unfolds with gripping simplicity: one evening in Munich, an elderly cleaning lady (Brigitte Mira) escapes from the rain into a bar frequented by immigrants. To her surprise, the jukebox plays an old German tango and a handsome young Moroccan (El Hedi ben Salem) asks her to dance... So far, so like a fairy tale, but this tenderest of romances is soon exposed to the brutal reality of racism and ageism. Arguably Fassbinder’s best loved film, it is still, 40 years on, burningly relevant.

Margaret Deriaz, season programmer

Also available on BFI Player.

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