Part of Mark Kermode's 'Europe in 25 films: the critics’ choice' - featured in The Observer.
In March 1974 Rainer Werner Fassbinder released what would become arguably his most loved work. Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival, where it had earned its director two prizes, 'Fear Eats the Soul' would soon delight audiences 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 to the outrage Emmi’s family (including Fassbinder himself as her aggressive son-in-law), her friends and her colleagues.
Paying homage to the classic melodramas of Douglas Sirk, in particular 'All That Heaven Allows', 'Fear Eats the Soul' is a beautifully performed look at intolerance and hypocrisy, and a key film for both Fassbinder and the 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