Günter Wallraff: Black on White

Günter Wallraff: Black on White

Günter Wallraff: Black on White

  Günter Wallraff, was once again on the road in Germany. This time not as a BILD reporter, employee or call center employee, but as a colored immigrants. Thanks to a talented make-up artists and a wig, changed the undercover journalist in the African Ogonno Kwami, who distributes through Germany, to investigate how it is with the famous hospitality of the locals. The result of this bold cinematic experiment, directed by Pagonis Pagonakis and Susan Hunter is simply staggering. What we have long been suspected or feared, is now a sad certainty. We are now literally in black and white before us, how deeply rooted the latent or overt racism in this country yet.

The very first scene, makes this clear with all the vividness: “Africa for the monkeys, Europe for whites! “roars a young apparently drunken man in front of a restaurant in Rosenheim of the camera in his face. Who in this manner, is addressed, we learn shortly thereafter: Guenter Wallraff, decades of Germany’s most famous investigative journalist wants to know exactly how it is with the supposed tolerance in Germany. For this purpose, it can be missed by a makeup artist with an airbrush and a thick skin, a dark brown wig, and now attracts a year as Kwami Ogonno through Germany. The result – one suspects it quickly after that start – is highly questionable: Whether in East or West, in Saxony and Bavaria, in Cologne or in Rosenheim – anywhere Ogonno / Wallraff dull prejudice, hatred and countering overt aggression. Although seldom so clearly apparent as on the edge of a soccer match between Dynamo Dresden and Energie Cottbus. However, racism and exclusion are diverse – and express themselves in all the small communities, which holds the film in minute detail.

There is for example the dog club, like entering the Kwami and his pet. Spontaneously reported the person in charge of dog lovers, the club was full and had imposed a recording end. And calls on demand Kwamis astronomically high prices. That these are all nothing but lies to keep the unpopular foreigners from the club, we learn later, when the film crew sends a (white) woman on the Upper Club. And suddenly there is an alleged recording end no more talk, the admission and annual fees decreased by a multiple.

Similar happens to Kwami in finding an apartment in Wallraff’s supposedly open-minded and tolerant native Cologne, having a joint Hiking with suspicious pensioners, when applying for a hunting license in Rosenheim, which threatens the public servant responsible for no apparent reason with the police and in many other situations. And yet, sometimes, more casually, flashes, even something like hope – a small gesture, an act of solidarity and civic courage when Kwami is tackled hard again. It is already very glad about this small, really obvious gestures that are supposed to be normal in Germany and yet still be the absolute exception.

That nauseating after this film, which is not (only) to the initially but very weird pictures of that little camera that Günter Wallraff partially contributed directly to the body and are therefore heavily blurred. But especially at the level of everyday very racism that is consistent across all regions and social classes.

The summer’s tale from the year 2006, peacefully as people from all over the world together to celebrate the World Cup (and in some regions for some people to no-go areas) have stated that it was probably still in front all a fairy tale. The reality clearly shows black on white, looks different. As shocking as the film stock may have – we suspect very quickly, as the vast majority of situations will develop, suggesting some of the sequences seem a little superfluous. Watching the light of the astonished eyes of the little colored boy who Wallraff fascinated in how this is the makeup washed off again and turns into a white man, one suspects that the film lacks something crucial: the moment of surprise, the unmasking, reflection on the part of many “offenders”. Because if one thing is certain, then: you will not watch this movie anyway. And all those that are black on yellow to see in the cinema are anyway aware of this issue. The criticism that the film, it will probably run into space and evaporate almost ineffective. And that’s damned shame.

Black on White launches a new film series of the X distribution, entitled “New Home” forms. And if you are the first film of the series once again re-presented, one could actually come to the conclusion that we desperately need a new home.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: Günter Wallraff: Black on White Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2009 Length: 86 (Min) (# ) Distribution: X-Hire

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