Otomo (2000)


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Movie Info

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."


Eva Mattes
as Gisela
Gottfried Breitfuss
as Job Exchange Employee/Jeschke the Dorm Manager
Huseyin Cirpici
as Job Exchange Employee/Police Officer on Bridge
Bernd Gnann
as Job Exchange Employee/Police Officer on Bridge
Hedi Kriegeskotte
as Job Exhange Employee/Woman Who Loves Schubert
Helmut Lorin
as Job Exchange Employee/Man at Window Above Pub
Waldemar Kobus
as Unemployed Disabled Man at Job Exchange
Traute Hoess
as Bar Maid
Andrej Kritenko
as Dorm Guard
Stefan Feddersen-Clausen
as Young Truck Driver
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Critic Reviews for Otomo

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (6)

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.

Dec 14, 2001 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

Nov 14, 2001

The messages about racism get a bit ham-handed, but the acting and sense of dread are powerful.

Nov 8, 2001
Top Critic

You do get a sense of a German society that is still amazingly bureaucratic and authoritarian.

Nov 8, 2001 | Rating: 2.5/4

A bleak and powerful work, one we probably need more than ever these days.

Nov 7, 2001

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.

Nov 6, 2001 | Full Review…

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