RHEINLAND is a film project which 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
The feature length film will tell 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. According to the production team Mokoari Street Productions, Rheinland is more than just a movie - it is a very personal project because each member of the team feels strongly connected to the characters in different ways.
The production team are currently raising funds through Startnext - a crowdfunding platform www.startnext.de/Rheinland. They need to raise 30,000 € by Spring 2014.
Please support this project.