Co-produced by the German broadcaster WDR, the documentary film Das Fremde examines different experiences of migration, return and alienation in one’s native country in the particular historical situation of the eastern regions of newly reunified Germany. Jean-Jerome Chico-Kaleu Mujemba, economics professor from Zaire, visits schools in the state of Brandenburg in order to help combat prejudices among children, many of whom have had little or no contact with people with dark skin. The Wentzel brothers are restoring what was once their family estate in Teutschenthal near the city of Halle, while the young Count of Solms is preparing to relocate his father from Namibia to Baruth Castle. A real estate agent from the Sauerland region intends to buy land in order to build holiday apartments for West German investors. In Greifswald a teacher from Hamburg of Turkish descent teaches unemployed engineers. Youth living near what was once the border region between west and east complain about the living conditions of their native region, which they don’t want to leave. The story that connects the film’s different elements is told by the doctor Gabriela Willbold, who was born in the city of Cottbus to an African father and German mother. She speaks of her life with a different skin color in both the former East Germany and the newly reunified republic.
Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, DE 1994, 86 min
Introduction and moderation: Daniel Herrmann, Florian Wüst
With special guests: Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, Gabriela Willbold