The film I chose for the old women in film group this month was Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1974) . I saw it a long time ago with a group in the context of old women in film but at the time I did not blog and only made informal notes.
As usual the post viewing discussion was very lively and interesting with different points of view and occasional references to the rise of racism in today’s climate.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COMMENTS BELOW ARE REMARKS JOTTED DOWN QUICKLY AT THE END OF THE FILM AND MAY NOT REPRESENT CONSIDERED OPINIONS.
- A very painful film to watch, not only the distress of Emmi’s situation but the dreadful hatred and prejudice shown by the people around Emmi. Shades of Hitler , the connection is made. It struck me that it is the loneliness that can also eat away at the soul. For Ali and Emmi that is how it all started. I thought Emmi’s comments that people were also envious were also true but fanned by fear of the stranger/foreigner but also to do with the prejudice against older women having younger husbands – it is O.K the other way round.
- Realised the dilemma both characters were in but did not warm to them. Film fed into what is wrongly my ‘prejudice’ but I found the women somewhat pathetic although I know I shouldn’t have. Racism appalling. Did not like the male character at all – was he using her? Was there anything genuine about him? Still not sure.
- Such a powerful film. Seen it 4 times and it is just as powerful – if not more so in the current climate. Ageism, racism are so well depicted – not only the effect from the outside but also how one internalises (part of what racism and ageism are about). And finally (sp…) the saturated colours of melodrama , the long framed shots of stillness, portraits of loneliness, isolation , struggle. Fabulous.
- Date 60? improbable but …. large number of Moroccan workers in Germany at this time. Racist society coming to terms with post war times. Couscous : foreign workers to embrace German culture not vice versa. Shower misconceptions.
- Wonderful moving film. Not only does it make an initially implausible -seeming relationship feel right, it goes on to explore it from different angles. The age factor is seen as less important than the insider-outsider one. It then ends with a very unexpected reversal – it will be the old woman who looks after and may well survive the younger man.
- I became rather bored . She was a likeable person but so simple. The plot was pretty obvious. How horrible most of Germans were.
- So seventeens in look. Ostensibly about racism but about power play in relationships as well. She begins being the more powerful force and gradually Ali takes the upper hand. Younger man and olde women. (Cafe scene like the last supper ). Action happens in doorways and mirrors a lot (framed by doorways). Camera mostly static, lingers over Ali’s face and body. Macochism Why? slapping himself. Not explained why a mere vacation results in racism and fear of the unknown evaporate?