I have to say that Mo Asumang is one brave person. Not
many would do what she has done several times over already.
But before I get into that, a little background first. Since the mid-1990’s Ms. Asumang has been a very popular TV personality and
host in Germany, as well as an actress, appearing in several films since the late
However her life changed forever when, several years ago, she happened
to hear a song from a Neo-Nazi heavy metal rock band in which there was a line that
was a death threat against her: “This bullet is for you, Mo Asumang.”
Shocked and repelled, she decided not to ignore it, but instead to make a documentary,
released in 2007, exploring racism in Germany and her identity as a black woman born and raised in Germany, titled Roots Germania.
She followed that film with her 2010 documentary Road to Rainbow, about the still lingering
affects of apartheid in South Africa
Now Ms. Asumang turns her attention to us, or rather the U.S., in her new documentary The Aryans, which, last month, begun playing
the film festival circuit.
In her new film, as she did with Germany with her first
film, she explores racism in the U.S. and the concept of the Aryan identity, traveling throughout this country, talking and interviewing Klansmen, white supremacists
Now, of course that sounds crazy and dangerous, but it makes
sense since, if you want to explore a
subject, you can’t do it from your comfy seat safe at home. Instead you have to
get close to it as much as possible. That’s what I meant by her being a brave
person. Not many would have the nerves of steel to personally meet and engage
with some really depraved and dangerous racists, to ask them what they think of
black people and their beliefs; but for Ms. Asumang, that was the only way to get inside their
heads and to come to grips with her subject.
The film was screened in Berlin and Washington D.C.
last week, and received the Ongoren
Award for Democracy and Human Rights in March,
as well as both the Best World Cinema Documentary
and Audience Award favorite at the Phoenix Film Festival. No doubt it will
be playing in other cities and festivals throughout the year.
And though there is a website for the film (HERE), there isn’t
yet a trailer for it, though one is currently in the works. However there is
a video interview with Ms. Asumang and
DeWayne Wickham, dean of Morgan State University’s School of Global
Journalism and Communication which contains some brief scenes and images
from the film, which you can watch below: