Lars Kraume reaches into Germany’s past in this compelling historical drama. Long before Naziism, racist pseudoscience held sway in the nation: Kraume uses the fictional story of Alexander Hoffmann (Leonard Scheicher) to shine a light on German bigotry against Africans, and the way it served to legitimize mass slaughter. The film begins in Berlin, near the turn of the century; Hoffmann is an idealistic young ethnologist who questions the racism of his discipline. When members of the Herero and Nama peoples are brought to his city for study, Hoffmann bonds with Kezia (Girley Charlene Jazama), a proud woman whose intelligence puts the lie to the racist orthodoxies of the time. Soon, Hoffmann will have his courage tested when he travels to Africa and is witness to what has been called the 20th century’s first genocide: the German violence against the Herero and Nama. Throughout the film, Kraume’s focus remains unwavering, and his portrayal of racial oppression is piercing and all too convincing.
Special Screening, Berlin 2023
Leonard Scheicher, Girley Charlene Jazama, Peter Simonischek, Corinna Kirchhoff, Anton Paulus
In German and Otjiherero with English subtitles
Depictions of Racism
Peter R. Adam
Christoph M. Kaiser, Julian Maas
Lars Kraume graduated from the DFFB film school in 1997 and went on to work as a director, producer and screenwriter on more than 30 feature films and television productions. Lars had his international breakthrough with The People Vs. Fritz Bauer (2015), which received seven German Film Awards. His television series Bauhaus – A New Era (2019) had its world premiere at the Cannes International Series Festival. He returned to feature film directing with The Silent Revolution (2018), which premiered as a Berlinale Special Gala and achieved success beyond Germany.
Filmography: The People Vs. Fritz Bauer (2015); The Silent Revolution (2018)
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