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Fiktionsbescheinigung Program 2

Still from the film "The Maji-Maji Readings" by Ricardo Barcallo. Close up of a women sitting in front of books
Ricardo Barcallo, THE MAJI-MAJI READINGS. Pictured the artist and theoretician Grada Kilomba. © BACALAOfilms

Fri 18.02.

The „Fiktionsbescheinigung“ explores the question of how culture in general and cinema in particular are related to society and racism. It is dedicated to the work of Black directors and directors of colour in Germany and sees itself as an experiment in shared curatorial responsibility that also seeks to shine a spotlight on a chapter of German film production that has been unfairly neglected. 
The film selection was put together by curators Enoka Ayemba and Biene Pilavci, supported by Karina Griffith, Jacqueline Nsiah, Can Sungu and the Berlinale Forum selection committee.

  • Director

    Ricardo Bacallao

  • Germany / 2006
    23 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    German, English

The Maji-Maji Readings

“Maji-Maji” was the battle cry of the 1905–1907 resistance movement led by the prophet Kinjikitile against German colonial rule in the south of what was then German East Africa. An estimated 300,000 people, about one third of the population, died over the course of the clashes. To coincide with the centenary of the beginning of this oft-forgotten war, the Berlin theatre ensemble abok, headed by Philippa Ébéné, commemorated the uprising and its suppression with a series of staged readings in 2005. In his documentary short, Cuban director Ricardo Bacallao asks the ensemble of actors from the African diaspora about their experiences within the theatre and film sectors. The conclusion is sobering: the obstacles that most of them encounter in their profession have a long tradition and are rooted in Germany’s insufficiently examined colonial past, which continues to have an impact today. (Enoka Ayemba)

  • Director

    Branwen Okpako

  • Germany / 2000
    75 min. / 35 mm / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language



DRECKFRESSER (2000) is Branwen Okpako's graduation film from the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). It documents the rise and fall of Sam Meffire, the first Black police officer in the former East Germany. Son of a white mother and a Cameroonian student, he posed as "the Saxon" for an advertising campaign by the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper in the early 1990s, while Heinz Eggert, Saxony’s Minister of the Interior at the time, liked to make public appearances with him. But Meffire resigned from the police force to set up a security firm and later turned to crime, with the Dresden Regional Court eventually sentencing him to nine years in jail in 1996. DRECKFRESSER does not offer any explanations. It centres on the eloquent Sam Meffire, but the filmmaker also talks to his mother, former colleagues and people working in the media. Their perspectives vary, contradicting or reinforcing each other, which is one reason why the film triggered a lot of debate at certain festivals. "I'm not into documentaries that try to tell the truth. That's not possible because film is something that is made," commented the director at the 2001 Berlinale Forum. (Enoka Ayemba)

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media