Frieder Schlaich directs this horrific look at racism in modern Germany. Loosely based on a real-life incident that scandalized Stuttgart in 1989, the film recounts the final day of a Liberian political refugee. Otomo (Isaach de Bankole) cannot find even the most modest of jobs because of his race. Everyone from his fellow boarding house patrons to his fellow churchgoers treat him with contempt and disdain. His long-simmering rage boils over when he finds himself involved in a scuffle with a racist subway ticket collector. Otomo flees the scene after slightly injuring the man, leaving his identification papers behind in the process. Soon ultra-ambitious cop Heinz is hot on his trail, hoping to boost his career by nailing a "dangerous fugitive." … More
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Critic Reviews for Otomo
The film doesn't believe the police deserved to die (or that the ticket inspector should have been assaulted), but then again it doesn't believe a society should so treat a man that this is what he comes to do.
Much of the sense of size in this account of an immigrant worker, who is only one among many thousands in Germany, comes from the performance by Isaach de Bankole.
The messages about racism get a bit ham-handed, but the acting and sense of dread are powerful.
You do get a sense of a German society that is still amazingly bureaucratic and authoritarian.
A bleak and powerful work, one we probably need more than ever these days.
Documents the institutionalized racism and xenophobia that painted one man into a corner, while never excusing the terrible means by which he took his final escape.
Although Otomo is clearly intended for German audiences, the film nevertheless raises issues confronted by every Westernized nation.
Racial profiling is alive and well, not just in real life, but more and more at the movies.
A riveting German film about the dehumanized treatment of refugees.
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