CANCELED: GERMAN CINEMA NOW!: Again
** Free event with RSVP! **
The new Goethe Pop Up Film Series GERMAN CINEMA NOW! starts in April. Curated by Jasmin Krakenberg, it supports artistic works that amplify the plurality of voices and experiences to inspire public dialogue. Thematically diverse and aesthetically challenging, the films offer perspectives on German culture in all its diversity and inconsistency, including gender and racial inequalities. In moments of subversion and countermovement, they do not show equality as status quo, but as goal of societal dispute.
About the film:
Arnsdorf in Saxony, May 2016. Four men dragged Schabas Al-Aziz, a young Iraqi citizen, out of a grocery store, tied him to a tree, and left him there until the police arrived. Minutes before, he had found himself in a heated argument with the cashier, insisting that the phone card he had purchased was broken. The incident was filmed by a bystander in the store and the video went viral. Many blamed the victim and celebrated the heroes, agreeing that the four men were only protecting the store and its customers. In May 2017, the proceeding was closed. The victim, however, was not able to testify in court; one week before the start of the trial, his body was found frozen to death in the woods an hour away from Arnsdorf.
Driven to ask questions ignored by the media and the court and playing on documentary crime drama, Again reexamines and reenacts the incident and the subsequent trial. German actors Dennenesch Zoudé and Mark Waschke lead the investigation, and ten citizens with different migrant backgrounds observe and comment on the case, which highlights the blurred distinction between civil courage and vigilante justice. In 40 minutes, the film addresses the growing divide in Germany between the politics of liberal inclusion and engrained ignorance, racism, and suppression.
About the filmmaker:
Born in Dresden, Mario Pfeifer studied in Leipzig (HGB) and Berlin (UDK). In 2008, he graduated from Willem de Rooij’s class at Städelschule Frankfurt am Main. Pfeifer was a Fulbright fellow at the California Institute of the Arts from 2008 – 2009. Further grants from Goethe-Institut and DAAD lead him to Bangkok, Mumbai, and New York. Awards include the Video Art Award, Bremen and the Salon Video Art Prize, London. Pfeifer’s works have been exhibited at MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; KW – Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, among others. His films have been screened at Anthology Film Archives, New York; London International Documentary Film Festival; World Film Festival, Bangkok; Images Festival, Toronto; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Arsenal, Berlin; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Again was commissioned by and displayed as a two-channel installation at the 10th Berlin Biennale in 2018.