Los Angeles Times - 04/15/1994
"...Driven by [Fassbinder's] usual fervor and honesty. There's a sense that he was working fast, through a compellingly personal inspiration, and that gives the film a rare vitality..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/27/1997
"...The film is powerful but very simple....In ALI, there is a startling tenderness..."
Film Comment - 07/01/2003
"...While it's certainly Fassbinder at his most tender and compassionate, his devastating use of color and startlingly distancing mise-en-scene are in full effect..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of nearly twenty films by the age of twenty-nine, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk's All The 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 reflect the ethnic tensions within German society. German with English Subtitles
A deceivingly simple film about the uncomfortable romantic relationship between a 60-year-old German cleaning woman named Emmi and a 40-year-old Moroccan immigrant named Ali, ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL is one of director R.W. Fassbinder's most powerful pictures. Brought together by a jeering barmaid, Emmi and Ali are surprised to find that, after their initial meeting, they like one another. After a somewhat awkward courtship, the two unlikely lovers marry, angering Emmi's children and revealing the startling prejudices that pervade everyday German life.