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Travel Blog


Jessica Litwak



Angst essen Seele auf

by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

I ran to the Maxim Gorky Theatre to see this wonderful Fassbinder play which is so timely and fullof irony and pathos and wild character work and lovely music. I saw the film Ali, Fear Eats the Soul - the film version of this play back in the early 80's and it was seminal. Fassbinder and this film in particular held such importance for me as a young artist. I was inspired by the ensemble. I was tickled by the weird kinkiness of it and I was deeply touched by the humanity, the politics and the love. It was great to revisit the themes of this play when we are in this time of fear (which does eat the soul) when refugees are being either welcomed or shunned, and everyone is looking at each other with strange and careful eyes. This play is brave and funny and should be seen again and again. The film is even better. And I want to find it, and watch it again and again- reawakening Fassbinder in my life (not the drugs and the booze, but the art and the courage and the company)

Happiness ain't always fun,  happiness is not always merry

Germany,the 1970’s. The stench of war has by no means worn off. The so-called migrant workers have been streaming into the country for the past 10 years. Meaningful sounds of Arabic music, full of longing, stream out of a bar onto therained-out street. Cleaning lady Emmi Kurovsky dares herself to tread into the bar. She wants to know what they are singing and who these people dancing to the music are. There she meets El Hedi Ben Salem M’Barek Mohammed Mustafa. But everyone calls him Ali. He is 20 years her junior, comes from Morocco, works as a mechanic. Their alleged inequalities turn out to unite them. They fall inlove and get married, in defiance of all jealousy, animosity and lack of understanding from neighbours, colleagues and relatives. Emmi and Ali will fight for their love.

An evening full of humour and live music from Daniel Kahn about extraordinary, painful happiness and a love, that has been blossoming for 40 years.