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This film is part of the curators’ selection, but can’t be shown online.


Germany in the early 1990s: Racist caricatures, picture books and advertisements circulate within popular culture and are consumed by white audiences without second thought. In school playgrounds and classrooms, racist games and songs are part of everyday life. Filmmaker Wanjiru Kinyanjui and her interviewee Tsitsi Dangarembga analyse these supposed gags in a cool, detached fashion despite the traumatising violence of the images they contain. These scenes are cross-cut with others showing two men from Malawi and Namibia discussing right-wing extremism in Germany and encouraging Black people in Europe to fight against racism and neocolonialism. The film also examines Eurocentric ignorance about African art or the dark chapter of Germany’s colonial period. Back in the spotlight after an extended slumber in the archives, BLACK IN THE WESTERN WORLD uses interviews to deliver a sharp critique of racist as well as capitalist structures. Made while Kinyanjui was studying at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB), the film raises awareness, strengthens and emboldens. (Can Sungu)

Wanjiru Kinyanjui, born in 1958 in Nairobi, Kenya. She studied German and English literature before studying directing. She is an author, screenwriter and director and teaches film production at Kenyatta University.

Production Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) Director Wanjiru Kinyanjui Cinematography Batrix Deller, Elke Götz Editing Eva López Echegoyen Sound Tsitsi Dangarembga, Peter Schmidt, Stephan Settele

Films: 1987: ...wenn ein Fremder dazu kommt...; Co-Regie: Yvonne Gaerber (18 Min.). 1988: A Lover and Killer of Colour (9 Min.). 1991: African Time (22 Min.). 1992: Black in the Western World (23 Min.). 1993: Vitico, eine lebende Legende (15 Min.). 1995: Der Kampf um den heiligen Baum (82 Min.). 1997: Zawadi ya Daudi (83 Min.). 2007: Bahati (40 Min.);  Manga in America (57 Min.). 2009: Africa Is A Woman’s Name (30 Min.)

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