1974, Janus Films, 93 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
When robust young Moroccan guest worker Ali (El Hadi ben Salem) and quiet, unassuming Emmi (Brigitte Mira), a white German woman easily 20 years his senior, meet in a bar, the chemistry is palpable and the two become a couple. But 1970s Germany is not kind to cross-generational, cross-racial relationships, and Emmi and Ali find their romance suddenly up against a closely guarded barrier of hostility and envy from friends and family. A surprisingly tender film from Fassbinder that often is considered his best, ALI follows the soul-wearing difficulties of prejudice, homesickness and unconventional love. In German with English subtitles.
CHINESE ROULETTE (CHINESISCHES ROULETTE)
1976, Janus Films, 96 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder goes Gothic with this character-driven, wicked mosaic of intertwining mysteries. Industrial magnate Gerhard Christ (Alexander Allerson) takes his longtime French mistress Irene (Anna Karina) on a weekend getaway to his luxurious countryside chateau. He gets quite a shock when he discovers his wife, Ariane, and disabled teenage daughter, Angela, already at the manse. Angela, who has deviously planned this meeting and is armed with her mute governess (Brigitte Mira) and a collection of grotesque dolls, devises a diabolical and psychologically vicious truth game of "Chinese Roulette" for the adults to play. In German with English subtitles.
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