In March 1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder released what would become arguably his most admired film. Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival, where it had earned its director two prizes, 'Fear Eats the Soul' would soon delight audiences around the world over with its tale of romance and racial prejudice in present-day Munich.
Emmi (Brigitte Mira), a widowed cleaning lady in her sixties, meets Ali (El Hedi ben Salem), a Moroccan immigrant in his thirties. Seeking companionship, the pair marry, much to the outrage Emmi’s family (including Fassbinder himself as her aggressive son-in-law), as well as friends and colleagues. Those outside pressure put a strain on the relationship and asks us to question why anyone would want to stand in the way of others’ shot at happiness.
Paying homage to the classic melodramas of Douglas Sirk, in particular 'All That Heaven Allows', 'Fear Eats the Soul' is a moving tale whose compassion for its two main characters is matched with disdain for those who spout intolerance and hypocrisy. A key film in Fassbinder’s incredibly prolific career, it is also one of the main films of New German Cinema.
★★★★★ "Urgent and contemporary: it means something relevant in 1974, and in 2017" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★★ "A searing tale of love and prejudice" - Wendy Ide, The Observer
★★★★★ "Fassbinder made so many incredible films, but this is certainly up there with his finest" - David Jenkins, Little White Lies