Auf den Zweiten Blick
This charming romantic comedy is about blindness, both in the literal and in the figurative sense. We only really take note of the fact that the main actors are black ›at second glance‹. This film finally demonstrates Germany’s diversity on the cinema screen. The directorial debut of this year’s jury member, actress and director Sheri Hagen, is part of what could be referred to as the Afro-German film ›tradition‹, although, as Hagen points out, it is preceded by only one other film: Alles Wird Gut from 1998 by Angelina Maccarone based on a script by Fatima El-Tayeb. ›Academic activist‹ Natasha A. Kelly noted that Afro-German culture only really established itself in the late 1980s, following the publication of Farbe bekennen: Afro-deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte in 1986. According to Kelly, the instigators of this reappraisal of German colonial history were W. E. B. Du Bois and Audre Lorde, who both studied in Berlin. That this part of cultural history is barely touched upon in the German film industry is also reflected by the fact that Hagen had to produce the film with crowdfunding. What has changed since then? Dortmund | Cologne IWFF explores this question using At Second Glance to kick off a discussion on monoculture versus diversity in Germany. (MZ)
Sheri Hagen was born in Lagos, Nigeria and grew up in Hamburg. She graduated from the Stage School of Dance and Drama, as well as from the Studio Theater an der Wien. Besides numerous film and TV films (The Life of Others, Baal, Tatort, a. o.), she has performed in diverse theater productions. In 2007 she realized her script for the children’s short film Stella and the Storks. Her debut film At Second Glance is the first German feature film production with a predominantly Afro-German cast. In 2015, she founded the production company Equality Film GmbH. Blue Window, her second feature film, was completed in 2016. Sheri Hagen is currently preparing her third feature Billie.
Films by Sheri Hagen
Simply Different (Short) 2015 | Stella und die Störche (Short) 2007