MA/F 2019, 98 Min., DCP, Arabic with German subtitles, director: Maryam Touzani, actors: Lubna Azabal, Douae Belkhaouda, Nisrin Erradi a. o.
It is not the first door Samia has knocked on. Abla does not want to take in the pregnant young woman who appears out of the blue and asks for help. But Abla’s eight-year-old daughter Warda disagrees and so Abla eventually gives in and offers the lost soul a shelter for a couple of nights.
This modest, sensitive directorial debut shows how much the lives of these two women are shaped by Morocco’s patriarchal society. Samia, unmarried and pregnant, is running away from something on the streets of Casablanca. For Abla, widowed and a single parent, her small house and the bakery she runs are a fortress that protects her from the outside world.
The women, subtly played by Loubna Azabal and Nisrin Erradi, gradually grow closer and we learn how they became what they are – a bit like the ingredients for Abla’s bread, which only reveal their secrets when kneaded together with skill and love.
D 2019, 91 Min., DCP, director: Ines Johnson-Spain
Her parents and brother are white, but her skin is dark. They are told that this is pure coincidence. That’s what happened to a girl in East Berlin in the 1960s. In an East German village, Sigrid falls in love with Lucien, a Togolese student, and becomes pregnant, but she is already married to Armin.
The child is the filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. At home she is told that everything is fine and there is nothing to discuss, but outside she is often confronted with racist hostility. In this intimate yet critical search for clues, she combines these confusing and painful childhood memories in a sober tone that tell of a culture of rejection, silence and denial. She also travels to Togo to visit her family.
BECOMING BLACK is a very personal reflection on themes such as identity, social norms and family ties, and focuses on a decidedly Afro-German perspective.
THERE IS NO EVIL
Sheytan vojud nadarad D/CZ/IR 2020, 150 Min., DCP, Farsi with German subtitles, director: Mohammad Rasoulof, actors: Ehsan Mirhosseini, Kaveh Ahangar, Mohammad Valizadegan, a. o.
Heshmat, an exemplary husband and father, leaves for work very early every morning. Where is he going? Pouya cannot imagine killing another human being, yet he gets the order. Can there be a way out for him? Javad visits his girlfriend Nana for her birthday to propose to her. But this day holds another surprise for Nana. Bahram is a doctor but is not allowed to practise. When his niece Darya from Germany visits him, he decides to reveal to her the reasons.
Mohammad Rasoulof, NIHRFF Guest of Honour 2015, tells four stories about people whose lives are more or less connected to the death penalty. Is moral integrity possible under a despotic regime? And at what price can it be possible to preserve individual freedom in such situations? Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlinale 2020.
STATUS AND TERRAIN
D 2019, 118 Min., DCP, director: Ute Adamczewski
Ute Adamczewskis Dokumentarfilm erzählt die Geschichte einer Eskalation.
Ute Adamczewski’s documentary tells the story of an escalation.
The starting point of the film are the so-called wild concentration camps, which were set up immediately after the National Socialist seizure of power in March 1933 to eliminate political opponents and which have largely been forgotten today. STATUS AND TERRAIN shows how the history of those places has been revised by time and how different political cultures of remembrance have inscribed themselves in them. The film links three successive periods of German history into a loose narrative in which violence plays an essential role in the assertion of power. Thus STATUS AND TERRAIN not only tells of places that became part of a network-like fascist infrastructure at the very beginning of National Socialism, but which later – after the Second World War, after the end of the GDR, in the all-German present of the NSU – became contested spaces of an interpretative sovereignty of history and legitimisation of political lines.
Film Talk with Ines Johnson-Spain
On Thursday, 1.10.2020, Ines-Johnson Spain was our guest and opened our Weekender to talk about her film BECOMING BLACK. The recording of the film talk is only available in German.
Film Talk with Ute Adamczewksi and Stefan Neuberger
On Sunday, 4.10.2020, director Ute Adamczewski and cinematographer Stefan Neuberger were our guests and talked to us about their film STATUS AND TERRAIN.