Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 1999
USA: Artmattan Productions
Cast: Isaach De Bankole, Eva Mattes, Hanno Friedrich, Barnaby Metschurat, Lara Kugler, Siegrid Burkholder, Gottfried Breitfuss, Traute Hoess, Stefan Moos, Lucia Schlor
Director: Frieder Schlaich
Country: Germany
Language: German (English subtitles)
USA: 85 mins
USA Release Date: 7 November 2001 (Limited Release - New York)


A powerful film portraying institutionalized racism and police brutality, OTOMO provides a convincing look at the everyday world of refugees, who are continuously surrounded by tension and insecurity. In the summer of 1989, a Stuttgart newspaper reported the true story of a West African asylum seeker who physically assaulted an intolerant subway ticket-taker; fled, and became the target of a city-wide manhunt. OTOMO is a sober, fictionalized reconstruction of a tale that shocked Stuttgart, and a gripping portrait of how institutionalized racism drives a disempowered individual to violence and inhumanity.

West African immigrant Frederic Otomo (Isaach de Bankole) lacks the proper papers to be hired for the most menial of jobs; he has survived for eight years with the help of a Catholic charity. Otomo is the target of verbal abuse and is thrown out of his boarding house. He feels and looks out of place. His wrath is vented on a train ticket inspector whom he assaults, flees the scene and is then tracked down by police. The ensuing manhunt and attempted arrest ends in the death of three people.

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