a short commentary with screen shots

I am delighted with Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s frames. He embellishes Ali with such enthusiasm and originality which fascinates even the most ordinary human being. His idea of framing, although common to contemporary auteurs such as Edward Yang and Krzysztof Kieślowski, is a unique aesthetic invention

The frames below are significant to the film. It manages to interlaced both external and internal events, a method obtained by changing the type of film used. One can observe the distance of the camera to the characters signifying isolation, loneliness and insoluble fear. Fassbinder uses a different camera to reinforce a metaphoric semblance of mysticism, somewhat to look at the two as dissimilar, foreign and uncommon to the audience. It detaches the characters but also reflects the overlapping of both happiness, for Ali and Emmi got married and just got out of the registry office; and sadness, for both of them and how the 'New German Society' would treat them as an interracial couple.

It is a film that requires an audience to breathe. But sometimes, it often suggests one to feel restricted, suffocated and narrowed on small, tight spaces. It manages to transpire a definite sign system with a masterful usages of frame especially using a doorways to reflect the character's inner modes of thinking. Doorway frames, I call them.

Half-Way Door - sliced between them, it separates the
two worlds of two unlike human being.



Repeated Doorway - it plunges both of them to an unprecedented
racial discrimination of a post-Nazi German Society (Hitler was referenced
several times in the film)

Magnified hand illusion - implicitly depicts, if highly enforcing,
the dominance of Ali, giving him justice against the piercing eyes
of Emmi Sons

More images framed in a doorway fashion


Dark doorway images - black - a representation of dark hidden
desires, a period in the film with represents Ali failure as a husband,
a humanistic portrayal of fragmented human being.

Tremendous isolation.


Mirror and window panes - trapping characters into fragile objects
like a mirror or a window pane represent their
incapacity for triumph and human strength.

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is a unique cinematic experience. It offers a completely different picture of racism (for lack of a better word) --- a topic which i hate to discuss because it aggravates arguments and often leads to inconclusive discussions on film. I hate to label the film as anti-racist primarily because it is not. it establishes a more distinctive picture of human relations and how differences can divide individuals from individuals and individuals from society than rather ruling out as another anti-racist film primarily because Ali is black. To describe Ali as black, by anyone, by a critic, by a scholar, is an opinion of a racist.