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Scene from "Fear Eats the Soul" (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

Sixty-year-old Emmi has three grown children and works as a housekeeper to supplement her retirement check. She meets and falls in love with young Moroccan man named Ali. When they decide to marry, everything and everyone turns against them. Even Emmi's own children want nothing more to do with their mother - until they find out about Ali's impressive savings. But when the external pressure eases up, the pressure increases between Emmi and Ali, who ultimately feels drawn to another woman.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was born in 1945 and died in 1982. He was one of the most significant directors of the “New German Cinema”. In just 13 years, between 1969 and 1982, he made 44 films, including Katzelmacher (1969), The Merchant of Four Seasons (Der Haendler der vier Jahreszeiten, 1971), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Die bitteren Traenen der Petra von Kant, 1972), Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf, 1973), Fontane Effi Briest (1974), Despair (1978), The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun, 1979), Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), Lili Marleen (1981), Lola (1981), and Querelle (1982), among others. He wrote 14 plays, revised six others and directed 25. He wrote four radio plays and 37 screenplays and worked on a further 13 scripts with other writers. Fassbinder's films are among the most valid social documents produced between the late 60s and early 80s in Germany; his plays are among the most performed of any post-war German dramatist.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1973
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Screenplay Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Thea Eymèsz
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast Irm Hermann, Marquard Bohm, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Karl Scheydt, Peter Gauhe, Barbara Valentin, El Hedi Ben Salem, Brigitte Mira, Walter Sedlmayr
Producer Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Production Company Tango Film/Munich
Length 93 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Versions Engilsh, French, Italian, Spanish
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Cannes 1974, Chicago 1974, Denver 2004, Kerala 2010, Viennale 2011, Zlín 2015, Shanghai 2017, Kolkata 2019
Awards FIPRESCI & OCIC Awards Cannes 1974, Silver Hugo Chicago 1974, German Film Award 1974 for Best Leading Actress
German Distributor Basis-Film Verleih/Berlin

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