Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Fassbinder’s international breakthrough is an unconventional love story with devastating emotional power.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • Angst essen Seele auf Original German
  • All Turks Are Called Ali Working
  • Tous les autres s'appellent Ali Alternative French
  • Ali, Fear Eats the Soul Alternative
  • Ali Alternative


This unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power. Not a shot is wasted in this bold reworking of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, which unfolds with gripping simplicity.

One evening in Munich, an elderly cleaning lady (Brigitte Mira) escapes from the rain into a bar frequented by immigrants. To her surprise, the jukebox plays an old German tango and a handsome young Moroccan (El Hedi ben Salem) asks her to dance... So far, so like a fairy tale, but this tenderest of romances is soon exposed to the brutal reality of racism and ageism.

Cast & Credits

Sight & Sound logo

The Greatest Films of All Time 2012

Ranked 93rd in the critics’ poll

See who voted for Fear Eats the Soul

Back to the top