Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ali: Fear Eats The Soul

An elderly woman walks into a bar to escape the raging storm outside. While she sits at a table, people at the bar dare an Arab man to dance with her. To their surprise, a relationship develops and the two marry, despite their age difference. From the moment the two are seen together, they must endure the racism that is so ever present, still in 1974 Germany. The film then charts how they both are affected by these racist sentiments. This filmed was directed by the controversial and central figure of the German New Wave movement Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He based his story on his idol Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows (which was subsequently remade in 2002 by Todd Haynes as Far From Heaven) and all these films act as indictments of their societies through their response to a May-December romance (interracial romances in two of the films). This is the first Fassbinder film I've watched and like the only Sirk film I've viewed (Written On The Wind), there is a stark use of color used for certain emphases. This film must have been bold for its time, and I look forward to viewing Fassbinder's other assuredly controversial work.