Angst Essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)
Angst Essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) (1974)

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… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: March 5, 1974
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Regarded as one of the high-water marks in German New Wave cinema of the 1970s, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is at once an intense portrayal of a relationship and a tribute to one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film heroes, Douglas Sirk.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out

One of the most beautiful films ever made, plain and simple.

Full review…
Variety Staff

Technically flawless, deceptively simple and avoiding excesses, it is about problems that are timely and timeless in implications.

Full review…
Tara Brady
Irish Times

It even manages something like a happy ending without sugar-coating the still poignantly relevant themes.Timely and heartbreaking, some 43 years after its debut.

Full review…
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Fassbinder's historicism is a crucial aspect of his modernism: he didn't just make use of prior forms, he quoted them, and derived from them the ironies implicit in his melodramatic styles.

Full review…
Nigel Floyd
Time Out

Fassbinder uses dramatic and visual excess to push everyday events to extremes, achieving a degree of political and psychological truth not accessible through mere social realism.

Full review…
Wendy Ide
Observer (UK)

The performances are flawless; the themes remain timely.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

This 1974 film stands as one of Fassbinder's sturdiest achievements, posed between the low-budget funkiness of his early features and the mannerism of his late period.

Full review…
Vincent Canby
New York Times

It is, rather, another quite courageous attempt by Mr. Fassbinder to develop a film style free of the kind of realistic conventions that sentimentalize life's mysteries.

Full review…
Peter Bradshaw

The performances of Brigitte Mira and El Hedi Ben Salem as Emmi and Ali are superb; they act with instant sympathy and charm and in their own way, they are the most purely lovable characters I have ever seen on a movie screen.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Very touching movie. Emmi is one of the great screen heroines.
Graham Jones
For sure in my all time top 5. The first time I watched this I was glued to the screen. It totally took me by surprise. The scene where Fassbinder cameos as the… More
Carlos Magalh„es
A delicate and deeply resonant melodrama like only Fassbinder could have made, telling with plenty of honesty a simple but objective love story centered on… More
Reid Volk
Although I can clearly see what Fassbinder was going for, I believe it could have been executed much better. As it is meant to expose the unjust racial… More
Michael S
One of cinema's most unconventional love stories is also one of the most touching and authentic I've ever seen. A simple and sweet little triumph from… More
Stella Dallas
more than 30 years old but it could've happened yesterday. one of the most simple and affecting love stories i've ever seen