Todd Haynes on Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

When we first released Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul in 2003, we asked filmmaker Todd Haynes to provide a video introduction. The year before, he had released his masterful Far from Heaven, a reworking of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows (1955), the film that also provided the inspiration for Fassbinder’s wrenching melodrama about the societally frowned-upon love between a middle-aged cleaning woman and a younger Moroccan immigrant. Haynes brought his amazing insight about cinema and people to his discussion of Ali—as is clear from this excerpt, in which he focuses on a particular composition and how it expresses the film’s themes.

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