There’s a heartfelt impetus behind filmmaker Amma Asante’s new film, a period drama set in Nazi Germany with an interracial theme at its heart. The film gives us elements of melodrama and also of epic – yet there is also something a little uncomfortable about it.
Asante’s original screenplay is inspired by the historical case of what were crudely called Rheinlandbastarde, colored people in Nazi Germany who had been fathered by military personnel of African background in the Occupied Rhineland after the first world war.
These people were not technically subject to the oppression suffered by Jews and yet had to be sterilised, or at any rate produce documentation to show that this procedure had been carried out. They inevitably endured endless racist harassment as well.
Some of the most well-known Holocaust-set movies tell true stories of brave or tragic figures who lived through the genocide, like Schindler’s List, The Pianist, and The Zookeeper’s Wife. Yet the new Holocaust-set film Where Hands Touch isn’t based on a true story, though it does use historical facts to share realistic tales. < strong>Where Hands Touch stars Amandla Stenberg as a 16-year-old named Leyna, who lives in Germany in 1944.
A beautiful and touching film that quite frankly, shows another perspective of those under the rule of Nazi Germany.