Valley of the Innocent/Tal der Ahnungslosen by Branwen Okpako

"On Saturday, 27th of June, 19h00 AfricAvenir in cooperation with studio 77, the Nigerian High Commission and the Deutsche Höhere Privat Schule in Windhoek will screen the film/thriller ""Valley of the Innocent"" by Nigerian filmmaker Branwen Okpako at Studio 77, Entrance: 10 N$.
Lonely, Afro-German Eva Meyer returns to her hometown of Dresden for the first time since reunification, desperately seeking reconciliation of her own. She visits the orphanage where she was an alienated little girl yearning for the golden plaits of her White sister. This journey into her forgotten past takes her straight into the heart of the Stasi – East Germany’s secret police – and reveals a convoluted plot to hide her birth, protect a family name and attract recruits to the government’s spy ring. Eva’s family secrets metaphorically mirror Germany’s suppressed history: both have remained boxed up, filed away and shrouded by shame, until now. The secret Eva uncovers leads to murder. When she turns up for her first day at her new job – a position, that has motivated her return to Dresden – she realizes that, as Chief of the Homicide Department, the first case she must solve involves her own family’s past. A classic, claustrophobic noir, Valley of the Innocent is a thriller with a twist, dealing with Afro-German and GDR-history.
The Director
Branwen Okpako was born in 1969 in Lagos/Nigeria. She studied Political Science and Economics in England, followed by studies in Film Direction at the German Film & Television Academy Berlin (dffb) from 1992-2000. Her films include the shorts Probe ( 1992), Frida Film (1993), Vorspiel (1994), Landing (1995), Market Forces (1996), Searching for Taid (1997) and Love Love Liebe (1998), and the features Dirt for Dinner (Dreckfresser, 2000) winner of the Bavarian documentary film prize The Young Lion and First Prize at the Dubrovnik Documentary Film Festival in 2001, and Valley of the Innocent (Tal der Ahnungslosen, 2004). ""Tal der Ahnungslosen"" is her first long feature film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Internationalen Filmfestival.
The director about her film
""Tal der Ahnungslosen/Valley of the Innocent"" is my first long feature film.
The idea for the film came, when I was doing research for my documentary ""Dreckfresser"", which partly was short in Saxony (region of East-Germany). ""Tal der Ahnungslosen"" describes the story of a Afro- German woman, who searches her origins. ""This is not really my own story. I am not a Afro-German and I wasn’t born in the GDR. As a Afro- European, and being raised at my parents house, unlike EVA, but if you are brought up with two differnet cultures, one always searches for ones own place in the world and for aspects of the society, which reflect ones own attitude towards life. And ""that is also what EVA, the main character in Tal der Ahnungslosen is doing"". She searches for her parents. And in the end, she discovers, that she was actually looking for herself. "


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