”Many development workers of my parents‘ generation had as their main motivation a romantic longing for a more existential, a more adventurous life. I think this has changed and I tried to address that in my film,” says director Ulrich Köhler about his 2011 Berlinale screening film Schlafkrankheit.
Sleeping Sickness echoes Jan Zabeil’s The River Used to be a Man (see September 2011 blog entries) that came out around the same time, or vice versa – about a man, a visitor, literally losing himself in Africa. And in both films, the theme of metamorphoses looms large. Not a film about Africa but about Europeans in Africa, between rapprochement and alienation.
Playing at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox in a one-week engagement until Friday.
by Jutta Brendemühl, Goethe-Institut Toronto