Angst essen Seele auf
Emmi is an elderly lady who works as a cleaner. Since her husband died many years ago, she has been spending most of her time alone. Salem, called Ali by everyone, is a young migrant worker who has been living in precarious conditions since he came to Germany two years ago.
When these two meet by chance at a bar and Salem asks Emmi to dance, they become close and fall in love. Despite the hostile reactions of their surroundings, they decide to get married – and find themselves exposed to the unbridled force of prejudice held even by their closest friends …
With the clarity of a fable, “Angst essen Seele auf” illustrates the mechanics of a hierarchical social system. At the same time, Fassbinder manages to break open one-dimensional character outlines and common clichés to reveal many-layered portraits of his protagonists. This material is as topical today as it was at the time of its creation forty years ago, and illustrates with great urgency the emergence and impact of marginalisation.
Over a period of only thirteen years, Rainer Werner Fassbinder created 44 films for cinema and television, building one of the most important film oeuvres of the post-war period before his untimely death at the age of 37. His film “Angst essen Seele auf”, created in 1974, revealed one of the central concerns of this filmmaker who was later described as an enfant terrible of the New German Film and often evoked controversy: To turn the private into the political and to use private human behaviour to illustrate the impact of entire social constructs.
Director and author Nuran David Calis has frequently dedicated himself to material that deals with topics like the ‘outsider’s perspective’ or everyday racism. His previous productions have taken him to theatres like Deutsches Theater Berlin, Schauspiel Köln, Schauspiel Essen, Volkstheater Wien, Schauspielhaus Bochum and Schauspiel Stuttgart. His most recent work at Schauspiel Leipzig was a production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal”.