Blu-ray Release: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Blu-ray Release Date: Sept. 30, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Ali: Fears Eats the Soul movie scene

Brigitte Mira and El Hedi ben Salem star in Fassbinder's Ali: Fears Eats the Soul.

The wildly prolific German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder (World on a Wire) paid homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with the 1974 drama Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, an update of Sirk’s 1955 All That Heaven Allows.

A lonely widow (Brigitte Mira) meets a much younger Arab worker (El Hedi ben Salem) in a bar during a rainstorm. They fall in love, to their own surprise—and to the outright shock of their families, colleagues, and drinking buddies.

In the movie Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Fassbinder expertly uses the emotional power of classic Hollywood melodrama to expose the racial tensions underlying contemporary German culture.

Criterion issued a DVD edition of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul back in 2003. This new Blu-ray version includes the following features, all ported over from the DVD:

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Introduction from 2003 by filmmaker Todd Haynes
• Interviews from 2003 with actor Brigitte Mira and editor Thea Eymèsz
• Shahbaz Noshir’s 2002 short Angst isst Seele auf, which reunites Mira, Eymèsz, and cinematographer Jürgen Jürges to tell the story, based on real events, of an attack by neo-Nazis on a foreign actor while on his way to a stage performance of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s screenplay
Signs of Vigorous Life: New German Cinema, a 1976 BBC program about the national film movement of which Fassbinder was a part
• Scene from Fassbinder’s 1970 film The American Soldier that inspired Ali
• Trailer
• An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.