Essential Cinema: The Bitter Tears of Rainer Werner Fassbinder


Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Germany, 1974, 1h 34min, 35mm, In German with English Subtitles

Essential Cinema  The Bitter Tears of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

There are no current or future screenings planned for this film.

Striking, honest and tender, one of Fassbinder’s smallest films in budget is among his greatest in artistic achievement. Putting his deeply felt outsider complex to work, Fassbinder confronts German xenophobia and social taboos by telling the story of an older widow who falls in love with a north African immigrant 20 years her junior. The film’s power is in it’s startling directness and cinematic depiction of lovers against a judgmental world. In addition to being directly inspired by the intergenerational love affair in Douglas Sirk’s ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, the film is also suspected to depict Fassbinder’s star-crossed relationship with a north African man, which ended in tragedy.

“Fassbinder so often pulls back characters’ surfaces to reveal their tortured psyches, reflecting the human condition bracingly back onto his audience. ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL is a prime example of that talent sharpened to its finest point.” Time Out’s Keith Uhlich

About This Series

This series celebrates the prolific master of New German Cinema and his razor-sharp gaze at culture and society across genre and style. Presented in conjunction with the restoration of his series of TV films, EIGHT HOURS DON’T MAKE A DAY.