Watch Extended Trailer for Anti-Racism German Doc 'Schwarzkopf BRD'
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Watch Extended Trailer for Anti-Racism German Doc 'Schwarzkopf BRD'

nullAs he did

just over a year ago with his film "I.D. – Without Colors" (HERE), the Berlin-based

Italian photographer, Riccardo Valsecchi, who is also a member of the Berlin

chapter of Shoot4Change, shows that problems that African-Americans face in

this country on a daily basis are not unique to this country.

In "I.D – Without Colors," he

dealt with the racial profiling of black and people of color in Germany, and now, with his new film, "Schwarzkopf BRD," Valsecchi tells the story of a group of kids from various

immigrant backgrounds who attend the Jugendtheaterbüro Moabit (a youth theater

workshop in the inner city neighborhood of Morbit in Berlin) – who “supported

by their own experiences as victims of racism, they decide to stage a piece

about the history of US Civil Rights Movement in order to understand how to

react and to survive against the racial brutality of German police and society.”

According to

the filmmaker, racism is, not surprisingly, an unspoken and unresolved issue in Germany, and, even worse there has been "a strong revival of right wing racist theories

have begun to emerge in the past few years. Most recently it has been

discovered that German Secret Service was involved in financing and hiding a

neo-Nazi trio (NSU) who killed 10 innocent citizens with Turkish background in

the last decade."

In addition, German

police officers were involved in the death of Oury Jalloh, an asylum seeker

from Sierra Leone, who died, burned alive, while he was tied on a mattress in a police

cell in Dessau in 2005, and they have been involved in the deadly shootings of several African-Germans

since 2006.

The police continue to target the so-called “Schwarzkopfer” (black heads), which

some call people with non-Aryan ethnicity, and tensions have risen to a boiling point, resulting in riots in Altona, a borough in Hamburg, last August.

So in October 2013, Valsecchi was invited by

the theater workshop, originally to shoot a series of educational short

movies in order to show to potential victims, or witness how to react in front

of the practice of racial profiling by German police. However, he was so taken

by the group, and the work, as they developed the theater piece to something even

larger and more complex that he "fell in love immediately with the project as

well as the atmosphere inside the group and followed them, almost every day,

for the next three months, until the premiere at the Haus der Kulturen der

Welt, the most prestigious artistic location in Berlin."

He says that

it was the most intense and emotional project that he has ever worked on, as he watched and filmed teenagers struggle, not only with the racism of the external society, but also with their own

religious and ethnic differences.

The film

will make its premiere at the Festiwalla 2014 in Berlin, in November, and hopefully

will be screened in other countries as well, including the U.S. But unfortunately, as Valsecchi  learned with his previous

film, "I.D. -Without Colors," his new film will be ignored by the German media and

other festivals unless it wins some awards as "ID" did. But he adds sadly as well that

“in

Germany you are not allowed to talk about racism, especially if you are a

foreign; this is the reason while it will be my last work there and I am not

living there anymore.”

But he also says, hopefully, that  “ I strongly believe, especially in

these days, with all the bad news coming from Ferguson, that if politicians and

parties are not able to understand that we cannot tolerate anymore to live in a

racial society–that there are people discriminated by laws and by educational

systems,  arts and culture may be a way

to build an international bridge against racism."

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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