UPDATE 10/13 – Promo footage for the film which will be used to raise money to complete the feature has been released online, and is embedded below, with one caveat however. As I was told by one of the film’s producers… “It is a mere fundraising teaser shot with zero (literally…) budget and therefore does not stand for the final movie – it is to show to people what we can do without money so they donate and support to help us make a fully funded budget movie…”
So what you’re looking at is, again, just a promo, shot to help raise funds for the feature. If you’d like to make a contribution to their fundraising campaign, click HERE. The campaign goal (which represents about 10% of the film’s full budget) is 29,900 Euro, or about $40,000.
Also on that page, you can read up on each of the filmmakers behind the project.
Here’s the initial post…
It was over the summer that I featured a well-made short film titled Our Rhineland, directed by Faren Humes (a filmmaker to certainly be aware of and watch), which is set in 1937, under the Third Reich, as Germans of mixed race were being rounded up and rendered sterile. It followed the struggles of 2 sisters with opposing views on how to respond to this act – one wanting to fight; the other just wanting to live.
I recently learned of another film – this one a feature – set during the same time, place and circumstances.
Titled Rheinland, the film hails from Mokoari Street Productions, and is being written and directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese.
Described as a drama/thriller, here’s a synopsis for Rheinland:
During the first World War the French government forced African men – many coming from Senegal or Cameroon – from their colonies to fight for the French army in the Rheinland. In 1919, there were between 25,000 and 40,000 African soldiers from the colonies based in the Rhineland. After Germany’s defeat, some of the soldiers stayed and founded families. Their lives, which were already scarred by discrimination and racism were threatened existentially when Hitler and the Nazi-Party seized power. In 1937 the so called Commission Number 3 was instated which had the secret order to sterilise all so called “Rheinlandbastards”, a derogatory term used for the offsprings of white German women and African men. Local officials reported the “Rheinlandbastards” living under their jurisdiction and with their help a vast number of children were forcefully sterilised or disappeared forever. In “Mein Kampf” Hitler referred to them as contaminators of the white race “by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe.” RHEINLAND tells the story of the so called “Rheinlandbastards” through the eyes of 12-year-old Joachim, the son of the Senegalese Awa and the German Annemarie. Joachim is forced to deal with his identity when the village his family lives in becomes more and more hostile.
The film’s cast includes Vicente Januario, Lewis Otoo, Judith Seither, Christian Wagner, Jan Philipp Jarke, and Matthias Hinz, and it’s produced by Hannah Stockmann, Christian Wagner, and Julius Franklin.
It’s a subject that I can’t say has been thoroughly tackled on film, and certainly deserves to be. So, even though I haven’t seen a single frame of this film, and I’m not at all familiar with the filmmaker or the production company behind it, I can say that it definitely has my attention.
A first teaser for the film is expected to be unveiled this month, although at an event in Berlin, according to the project’s Facebook page. I assume the teaser will eventually find its way online, so that we can share it here.
In the meantime, check out a few poster art images above and below.
Something I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on now that I’m aware of it.