Imagine you are in Germany.
The year is 1937.
You are Black.
RHEINLAND - The movie...
...focuses on the 12 year old Afro-German Joachim and his family, whose lives - already marred by racism - take a dramatic turn when Hitler seizes power and become mortally endangered.
Joachim is forced to grapple with his identity while the environment and the village he lives in becomes increasingly hostile.
...During the first World War the French government forced African men - many coming from Senegal or Cameroon - to leave their colonies and fight for the French army in the Rheinland.
Until 1919, there were between 25,000 and 40,000 African soldiers based in Rheinland. After the war many of them decided to stay in Germany and found families. When Hitler seized power the lives of these families suddenly changed.
Hitler referred to the children of former African colonial soldiers and white German women as a "disgrace" for Germany and as "contaminators" of the white race. In 1937 he instated the so called Commission No. 3, which was supposed to deal with this "problem" on the Rhine. Thus, more than 400 children were sterilized against their will and interned in concentration camps - many of them disappeared forever.
RHEINLAND - the movie...
...tells the story of the so called "Rheinland Children" through the eyes of 12-year-old Joachim, the son of the Senegalese Awa and the German Annemarie.
RHEINLAND is more than just a movie...
...it is a very personal project because we are all connected to the characters in different ways. Although RHEINLAND is set in 1937, it partially reflects sentiments and experiences of our own lives.
We want to make history visible...
...and share the fate of the "Rheinland Children", which has been ignored by mainstream Germany for too long. We want to remember, process and come to terms with this part of (Afro)German history.
We want to create an awareness..
...Who is German? Who is part of society? Who is being othered within our society and why? What impact does every day racism have on individuals? Which crises in an individual's identity are triggered by this?
Being Black and German...
...is not mutually exclusive. Germany is our home and the home of our children. We would like to show how it feels to be perceived as "the other" - from our perspective. How it feels when your origin and identity is constantly questioned.
There have always been Black people in Germany...
...knowing the shared history and recognising it as such is an essential prerequisite to make it possible for all people residing in Germany to live together in equality.
For this reason, RHEINLAND is aimed at every person living in Germany.
RHEINLAND needs your support...
...because we will show you a part of history you won't find in most history books and the fate of the "Rheinland Children" must be made visible.
...because it is the first feature film that deals with the fate of the "Rheinland Children".
...because Black German history from a Black perspective will be presented in a feature film for the first time.
...because it is a very personal project, into which we bring our sentiments and experiences of our living reality today.
We wish to make the unseen seen and we wish to transport you back in time to see what could life have been like for so many of us.
RHEINLAND is a movie we are connected to and therefore is dear to our hearts.
We want to tell this story. We need to tell this story. But we cannot do it without you.
Every cent will be used for the production of the movie.
We need at least 30.000 Euros to realise this film. With that the production of RHEINLAND is guaranteed!
The realization of a historical project is very complex and cost-intensive. One could think that the budget of 30.000 Euros is set at a relatively low level. But it is a lot of money to us, considering we were able to shoot the teaser with a budget of 0 Euros.
30.000 Euros will allow us to film in the original locations, to provide authentic costumes and set design, to film with high quality equipment and most of all - allow us to remain independent. This is of major importance so RHEINLAND can become the movie that all of us want it to become.
Anything beyond would be a dream come true! This is what we want to achieve - with your help.
Your support makes RHEINLAND possible!