Ali: Fear Eats the Soul [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1974]

Considered one of the seminal works of the German new wave of the '70s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul gets the treatment it deserves from Criterion on this DVD release. The film has been remastered and has never before looked or sounded this good on home video. The English subtitles have been retranslated and are better than they are on any other video edition of the film. Supplemental materials include an introduction from Todd Haynes, whose award-winning Far From Heaven took its inspiration from the same films that inspired Fassbinder to make Ali. Haynes' comments are cogent and incisive. An episode of the BBC series Omnibus dealing with Fassbinder and his contemporaries (Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, and others) is a fascinating look at how one culture looks at another country's films. Interviews with lead actress Brigitte Mira and editor Thea Eymèsz offer insights into both the film and Fassbinder's legendary work habits. A clip from Fassbinder's The American Soldier, and the original theatrical trailer round out this typically flawless Criterion title.
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Special Features

  • New digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Introduction by director Todd Haynes
  • Interviews with actress Brigitte Mira and editor Thea Eymèsz
  • Short film Angst isst Seele auf (2002)
  • From the BBC: "Signs of Vigorous Life: New German Cinema"
  • Excerpt from The American Soldier featuring Margarethe von Trotta
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
  • 16-page booklet, featuring a new essay by critic Chris Fujiwara and a reprint of Michael Töteberg's introduction to the published screenplay


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Rainer Werner Fassbinder not only directed Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf), but also scripted the film, designed the sets, and produced. Brigitte Mira heads the cast as a lonely German cleaning woman, who enters into an affair with equally lonely--and much, much younger--Moroccan mechanic El Hedi Ben Salem. They marry, despite the shocked, bigoted reactions of those around them. This thinly disguised remake of Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows (cult favorite Sirk was one of Fassbinder's personal heroes) won the international critic's prize at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Brigitte Mira
    Brigitte Mira - Emmi
  • El Hedi Ben Salem
    El Hedi Ben Salem - Ali
  • Barbara Valentin
    Barbara Valentin - Barbara
  • Irm Hermann
    Irm Hermann - Krista
  • Image coming soon
    Peter Gauhe - Bruno
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