The visually impaired characters in Sheri Hagen’s debut feature make a living by way of sound. Kay reads the news on the jazz radio station (and Falk falls in love with her voice). Benjamin is the dispatcher of the taxi service where Falk and his best friend Ulf are employed. Till is seduced by Pan when he arrives to tune his piano. The shift of focus from seeing to hearing in this ensemble romantic comedy is highlighted by the moody soundtrack and accentuated by the cinematography; blurry establishing shots, shaky camerawork and unexpected sightlines reveal that there is more to this narrative than meets the eye. This does not, however, serve as an escape from the topic of race. The film creates a space to explore the other aspects of the Black German experience that exist when skin colour is not the first and only thing seen. Self-financed by Hagen and a crowdfunding campaign, the feature raises important questions about what stories about Blackness in Germany receive public support and what space they are meant to occupy in the canon. (Karina Griffith)
Sheri Hagen, born in 1968 in Lagos, Nigeria. She trained as an actor and works as a director, screenwriter and actor in Berlin. She founded the production company Equality Film in 2015.
Production Equality Film. Written and directed by Sheri Hagen. Cinematography Markus Stotz. Editing Raquel Crawford-Jahn. Music Reggie Moore. Ton Raoul Grass, Karsten Paarmann, Marko Weichler. Production Design Kathrin Brösicke. Costumes Petra Neumeister. Make-Up Susanne Senge. Assistant director Xiana Yago Tortajada. Producer Sheri Hagen. With Anita Olatunji, Michael Klammer, Ella-Sade Hagen-Janson, Nele Rosetz, Ingo Naujoks, Milton Welsh, Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss, Lilly, Zoe Hagen, Manolo Palma, Komi Togbonou, Jonathan Kinsler.
Films: 2007: Stella und die Störche (21 Min.). 2012: Auf den zweiten Blick (92 Min.). 2016: Fenster Blau (83 Min.).