Mokoari Street Productions
Berlin, Germany
Written and directed by Lemohang J. Mosese
Produced by Hannah Stockmann, Julius B. Franklin & Christian Wagner

During the first World War the French government forced African men—many coming from Senegal or Cameroon —from their colonies to fight for the French army in the Rheinland. ​In 1919, there were between 25,000 and 40,000 African soldiers from the colonies based in the Rhineland. After Germany’s defeat, some of the soldiers stayed and founded families.

Their lives, which were already scarred by discrimination and racism were threatened existentially when Hitler and the Nazi-Party seized power. In 1937 the so called Commission Number 3 was instated which had the secret order to sterilise all so called “Rheinlandbastards“, a derogatory term used for the offsprings of white German women and African men. Local officials reported the “Rheinlandbastards” living under their jurisdiction and with their help a vast number of children was forcefully sterilised or disappeared forever. In “Mein Kampf” Hitler referred to them as contaminators of the white race “by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe.”

Rheinland tells the story of the so called “Rheinlandbastards” through the eyes of 12-year-old Joachim, the son of the Senegalese Awa and the German Annemarie. Joachim is forced to deal with his identity when the village his family lives in becomes more and more hostile.

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