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Director's statement

Brenda Akele Jorde


Brenda Akele Jorde

As the daughter of an Afro-German couple, I am interested in the diverse origins and stories of other Afro-German families. These are largely unknown or invisible in Germany. As a result, we are seen and feel less a part of German society.

20,000 Mozambicans worked hard in the GDR and were cheated out of their money. This history is not part of the German cultural memory, although the contract workers contributed a lot to the construction of (East) Germany. I wanted to recall this part of German-Mozambican history, with a focus on the personal.
During the research, my co-directors and I encountered many torn German-Mozambican families, which the abrupt end of the GDR brought with it. These are emotional stories that usually go unmentioned when it comes to the fall of the Wall, but which are still being dealt with today. Many children of former contract workers have only found their fathers in recent years - or are still looking
for them today. For a long time, many children thought they were alone with their fate. Many children have had traumatic experiences because of their skin colour. Many children built and are building new relationships in Mozambique and are thus given a second home.
When Sarah, the daughter of a GDR contract worker, talks about her experiences as a Black child in East Germany after the fall of the Wall, she speaks for many children of colour who felt very uncomfortable in their skin and struggled with their Blackness for a long time. Like many others, however, with time and travels to her Mozambican family, she understands that being Afro-German
is not a contradiction, not wrong and unwanted, but an enrichment even if it is not always easy. We are not half and half - but we have both. Showing the story of Sarah's family means making Afro-German identity and family across generations visible and emotionally tangible.
It was especially important for me not to tell only one perspective in this family story with such different protagonists. That's why we filmed with all family members on an equal footing and took our time listening to everyone. The viewers can decide whether this was successful.

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