Film Find – “Leroy” (Funk Not Fascism In Germany)
Courtesy of the Afro-Europe International Blog…
Synopis: 17-year old Leroy (Alain Morel) is German - and black. The son of a black eccentric inventor (Günther Kaufmann) and a progressive white mother (Eva Mannschott) who works for the local government. Leroy lives in Berlin, wears a big afro, but prefers Mozart to Hip Hop. Leroy’s friends are outsiders as well – Dimi is Greek and Achmed is Palestinian. However they all have girlfriends except Leroy. When cute Eva (who’s white) falls in love with him, nobody is as surprised and confused as Leroy himself.
But first love is not always sweet. Eva’s family turns out to be right wing extremists. They even named their Australian parrots after two of Hitler’s generals, and Eva’s five skinhead brothers are longing to kick Leroy’s butt asap.
However, Leroy does not give up easily. He assembles his friends, fights for his love and, in his own style, revives the black power movement of the 70s. His motto: Funk not Fascism.
“Director Armin Völckers takes a gently humorous look at otherness and xenophobia in modern day Germany.”
The 2007 film played at a few of international film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival in 2008, and was eventually released in Germany that same year. I couldn’t find it for rent or for sale anywhere online. I’d guess that, outside of Seattle, it hasn’t played anywhere else stateside, and has primarily been seen by audiences in Germany.
As an aside… if the name Günther Kaufmann sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because he starred in several of prolific German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s films in the 1970s, including Whity, one of the handful of films of his that I’ve actually seen; Kaufman, who’s himself is a child of an African American father and German mother, was also romantically linked to Fassbinder during their period of association.
Take a look at the trailer for Leroy below, and then watch the 2005 short film that the feature film was likely based on, titled Leroy Cleans Up:
And below is a 2005 short film that the feature film was likely based on, titled Leroy Cleans Up. It’s split up into 2 parts:
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