Emmi (German) and Ali (Roma) fall in love. Despite the hostility of those around them, they decide to get married - but soon face the overwhelming power of prejudices, also shared by their closest and most trusted allies... Emmi and Ali’s relationship reveals a gap in our everyday reality, a gap they try to bridge as quickly as possible so that their new-found love can become part of it. The moment this is achieved, any radicalism disappears from their romance. But Fassbinder, by juxtaposing Emmi and Ali’s first and last dances, reminds us that this gap may always be a part of reality, and that the person we love and the world we live in may remain forever alien.
Fear Eats the Soul shows, with the clarity of a fairy tale, how a hierarchical society works. Fassbinder manages to break away from unidimensional characters and familiar clichés to portray multifaceted protagonists. It is a highly topical film, which, more than forty years on, still demonstrates the workings of a social construct at the level of interpersonal behaviour, the origins and effects of exclusion, and how private life can suddenly become political.
Nowadays, the exclusion and violence against Roma is discussed in new ways at the local, regional and pan-national levels. However, the current situation is even more topical and, unfortunately, more explosive, too. How do we as individuals and as a community intend to address these problems when our room for manoeuvre is more and more restricted?
Szekció: SYNERGY World Festival
A Croatian born in Yugoslavia, she studied classical and modern ballet, film and theatre directing, and philosophy in Zagreb. As a young artist, she lived and worked as a dancer and choreographer in a culturally diverse Yugoslavia that was open to the world and encouraged artistic experimentation. In the 1970s, she studied and worked in the USA for two years. She returned to the Yugoslav stage and created “choreodrama”. Together with Ljubisa Ristic, she founded the multi-ethnic and multilingual KPGT theatre project, with which she toured Mexico, the USA and Australia, in addition to Europe. In 1992, she emigrated to Germany because of the Yugoslav war. In 1996, she and her partner founded TKO (Theater Kokotović – Osman) in Cologne.
The artistic directors of the Cologne-based theatre are Nada Kokotović and Nedjo Osman, their performances present the lives and problems of different nationalities and language communities in Europe, especially in Germany, in a multicultural theatrical form and in several languages. Their other important focal point is the situation of Roma persons and Roma culture. They also address other topical social issues: globalisation, terrorism, armed conflicts worldwide, turbo-capitalism, genetic engineering, xenophobia, the end of utopias, virtual reality, European values, hedonism. The plays, mostly by contemporary authors, and the cross-genre productions express a desire for a tolerant society that does not stop at geographical borders.