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AfricAvenir Film Distribution - On the Inside

On the Inside - The war inside us has no winner

What would you do if somebody took everything from you – your dignity, your husband and your children. Would you keep silent? Would you take revenge? ‘On the Inside’ is a story about justice, guilt and the fragile nature of truth. At its core, it tells about all wars and their victims and perpetrators. Kosovo, Libya, Azerbeijan –  war crimes happen everywhere. Background for ‘On the Inside’ is the true story of the massacres in Kivu in 2002. What happened in Kivu was officially denied for a long time. With little attention from the world public, 5 Million people have been killed in violent unrests in the Republic of Kongo since 1990. ‘On the Inside’ deploys the forces of these conflicts into the density of a Berlin hotel room.

Production Details

Uwe Janson, Drama, 80 min, Germany, 2011
With Sheri Hagen, Tyron Ricketts, Ken Duken, Morgan Domingos, Matthias Koeberlin, Loic Schröder, Stefan Rudolf, Fabienne Elaine Hollwege and Mohammed Fallah

Distribution

Distribution in Germany, Switzerland and Austria
Contact: info(at)africavenir.org 
Format: BluRay, DVD
Language: English, French, Ngála, German
Poster/Pictures: Can be sent digitally

Full Synopsis

Arusha Ntarama lost everything she was in front of the church in Nyankunde in the civil war in Kongo. Simon Taylor, Minister for Economic Development in Kongo and guest of the mayor of Berlin, checks into his hotel suite with his long-time companion Joseph. But instead of enjoying an evening of luxury, their past enters the room with a gun – Arusha… She wants to unmask Taylor as the Statehouse Commander Robert Makeni, responsible for her loss. She wants to find out whether or not her daughters could have been saved by a lie. And she wants revenge. Marco Held, Junior Manager of the Hotel, is chosen by Arusha to witness this uncommon trial against Makeni. He is to spread the truth. Confronted with opposing statements, Held cannot decide which side to believe. He is torn between his feelings of compassion with Arusha and his responsibility to prevent a crime of vengeance. But everyone in the room has to confront the past when Simon’s son Sheku knocks at the door.

‘On the Inside’ is a story about justice, guilt and the fragile nature of truth. At its core, it tells about all wars and their victims and perpetrators. Kosovo, Libya, Azerbeijan –  war crimes happen everywhere. Background for ‘On the Inside’ is the true story of the massacres in Kivu in 2002. What happened in Kivu was officially denied for a long time. With little attention from the world public, more than 5 Million people have been killed in violent unrests in the Republic of Kongo since 1990. ‘On the Inside’ deploys the forces of these conflicts into the density of a Berlin hotel room.

Uwe Janson and Oliver Czeslik were inspired by Cassavetes way of filming, financing and producing stories of “Wirklichkeit” when setting up this independent project. Conscious density of time and space contrasted by unconventionally long takes give characters room to evolve in in this intimate play.

Director & Cast Comments

"As long as human rights are disregarded day in and day out, films like 'On the Inside' should be a must for everyone who doesn´t have to ask the question if he or she will survive the next day." Sheri Hagen

"I was very moved by the screenplay to 'On The Inside'. The theme lies heavy on my heart. African and black actors are usually seen in stereotyped images in German productions (...) 'On The Inside' doesn't work with stereotypes but allows room to reflect, a space for discourse that allows black actors the possibility to plunge into characters and revive them." Sheri Hagen

"My character as Marco Held is for me a symbol of Europe's reactions to conflicts in Africas. Pretending to solve (the) problems, but ultimately remain passive and not act." Ken Duken

"When the offer for the role came I was skeptical at first - white guys making a black movie? But after the casting of 'On The Inside', I was convinced. It isn't just a film about Africa." Simon Rickett

"‘On the Inside’ is a story about all wars and all victims. It is a story every mother in the world can understand – how would I react if I lost my children and husband in war? We chose Kivu as a background, because it was a forgotten massacre that was only known to the public after victims put up their voices. At that time, victims could not file law suits in Den Haag, they were only heard as witnesses. This has changed now. Arusha stands up because she wants the truth to be known – but she pulls up a situation where we do not know any more who the victim is and who the perpetrator." Uwe Janson

"The story is set in a Berlin hotel room, not in Africa. It is told from different perspectives. Marco Held is caught helplessly in the conflict and reminds us of European and UN reactions to the conflicts in Afrika." Uwe Janson

Director: Uwe Janson

Born 1959 in Köngstein im Taunus, Germany. Apprenticeship photographer while studying sociology, philosophy and german philology in Heidelberg. Since 1992, Uwe Janson has created more than 50 movies for cinema and television as director, author and producer and has been awarded and nominated for numerous film and television awards. “Baal” in 2003 founded a renaissance of german theatre film, finding modern interpretations for classical german plays. “Lulu”, “Peer Gynt” and “Werther” have followed this tradition. Event movie “Vulkan” in 2008 has been a major success in german television, nominated for the german television award “Deutscher Filmpreis”. “Laconia” with Brian Cox, Lindsay Duncan, Franka Potente and Ken Duken is in Post Production.

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