Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of almost twenty films by the age of twenty-nine, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's All That Heaven Allows. Lonely widow Emmi Kurowski (Brigitte Mira) meets Arab worker Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar during a rainstorm. They fall in love--to their own surprise--and to the shock of family, colleagues, and drinking buddies. In Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen seele auf), Fassbinder expertly uses the emotional power of the melodrama to underscore the racial tensions threatening German culture.
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