Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part III of V

I hope Fassbinder is at least getting paid for the sheer amount of Coca Cola product placement he’s been hammering in so far.

You never see this in films that sort of cover xenophobia too often, but I was quite fascinated by how the younger generation in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul were also the ones guilty of bigotry, since their era seemed like one of the first to expect German people to work with those from different backgrounds, unable to assimilate to the new out of nostalgic destruction of the old, therefore encouraging racism. F**k you, Hitler. 

Fassbinder surveys jealousy, envy, and how the two end up being a racists’ defense mechanism whenever they’re wrong about foreigners. Yet, an elderly lady named Emmi was able to connect and emphasize with those victimized by discrimination because she too felt secluded, just like how Ali must’ve felt being distanced from the rest of the country. Loneliness truly does instigate the strongest forms of unity, but also the toughest experiences of adversity. 

Verdict: B+

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked 

“Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

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