1992—the former East German city of Rostock is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the recent fall of the Berlin Wall. Youth unemployment is high, and migrant workers are housed in Soviet-era high-rises on the outskirts of the city. The Roma and a sizeable Vietnamese minority have become targets of the locals’ discontent, which escalates into hostility and violence during the course of one day. Director Burhan Qurbani plunges us headfirst into this world and we watch events unfold through the eyes of Stefan, a youth intrigued by the local neo-Nazi movement; his father, Martin, an aging Social Democrat politician; and Lien, a Vietnamese factory worker. As generational, ideological, and racial tensions build, the camera swoops through the city bringing characters together and forcing them to see each other and their surroundings in a new light. All culminating in a night that will change the city forever. The tasteful black-and-white cinematography embraces the period setting while at the same time making each shot feel alive and bursting with an angry energy. The meandering camera and the intertwining narratives makes for a very visceral experience. —Jule Rozite
About the Director(s)
Burhan Qurbani was born in Germany and studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. As part of the omnibus-project “20x Brandenburg,” Burhan made the short documentary Warriors Without Enemies, which won the Grimme Award in 2011. His credits also include Shahada.
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