Angst essen Seele auf
Admiration for Douglas Sirk's melodrama All That Heaven Allows (1955) inspired this drama, a story of a love disapproved of by all between an older woman and a younger man. With Sirk it concerned a well-to-do widow and her gardener, in his own film Fassbinder portrays a window cleaner and a Moroccan Gastarbeiter (a migrant worker, literally "guest worker"). He managed to shoot the film – in his own words an exercise in filmmaking – in less than two weeks.
60-year-old widow Emmi is sitting in a bar when Ali, a Moroccan in his late thirties, asks her to dance. She accepts. It is the beginning of a warm friendship. Their friendship blossoms into romance and Ali moves in with Emmi. When the landlord – assuming Ali is a lodger, while subletting is not allowed –requires that Ali leave, Emmi and Ali decide to marry. This is generally looked upon negatively.