More from the history books…
This one is titled “Schwarzfahrer” (aka “Black Rider”) – a 1993 German short film directed by Pepe Danquart, which won the Academy Award in 1994 for Best Short Subject.
The 10-minute black and white film follows an incident of racism on a tram in Germany: In short, an elderly white woman verbally abuses a black man, expressing her prejudices against asylum-seekers and immigrants. The other passengers eavesdrop, but don’t intervene. When the ticket inspector turns up to check everyone’s tickets something unexpected occurs and the tables turn…
The young black man was played by Paul Outlaw, an African American, born in New York City, who now works in Los Angeles as an experimental theater artist and vocalist. His award-winning projects, which have been presented across the United States and in Europe, tackle recurring themes like race, sexual identity, and violence in American society.
He’s also a trained as an actor, having studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The short film co-stars Senta Moira and Stefan Merki.
It screened at several international film festivals, winning awards along the way, including: New York, Minsk, San Francisco, Montreal, Berlin, Valladolid, San Sebastian, Nordic Film Festival (Scandinavia), Cairo, Paris, Jerusalem, Milan, among others.
The title is a play on words: Literally, “Schwarzfahrer” means “black rider” in German, but is also translatable as “fare-dodger.” This word-play forms the punch line of the rather simple yet effective short film, which is embedded below: