Close Up

14 - 29 April 2023: Fear Eats the Soul


Fear Eats the Soul
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974, 93 min

Fassbinder pays homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with this update of that filmmaker’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 Fear Eats the Soul, Fassbinder expertly wields the emotional power of classic Hollywood melodrama to expose the racial tensions underlying contemporary German culture.

Screening as part of our Essential Cinema series