Otomo (2000)

Frieder Schlaich directs this horrific look at racism in modern Germany. Loosely based on a real-life incident that scandalized Stuttgart in 1989, the film recounts the final day of a Liberian political refugee. Otomo (Isaach de Bankole)… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 24, 2000
DVD Release Date: November 28, 2006
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The film doesn't believe the police deserved to die (or that the ticket inspector should have been assaulted), but then again it doesn't believe a society should so treat a man that this is what he comes to do.

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Jonathan Foreman
New York Post

You do get a sense of a German society that is still amazingly bureaucratic and authoritarian.

Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Although Otomo is clearly intended for German audiences, the film nevertheless raises issues confronted by every Westernized nation.

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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic

Much of the sense of size in this account of an immigrant worker, who is only one among many thousands in Germany, comes from the performance by Isaach de Bankole.

Elvis Mitchell
New York Times

A bleak and powerful work, one we probably need more than ever these days.

Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio

Racial profiling is alive and well, not just in real life, but more and more at the movies.

John Anderson

The messages about racism get a bit ham-handed, but the acting and sense of dread are powerful.

Jessica Winter
Village Voice

Documents the institutionalized racism and xenophobia that painted one man into a corner, while never excusing the terrible means by which he took his final escape.

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

A riveting German film about the dehumanized treatment of refugees.

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