Alice in the Cities (Alice in den Städten) - German History in Film
- Community & Culture
- Goethe-Institut Chicago, Chicago IL
A documentary utopia about a very unusual cross-cultural exchange: extended African families “adopt” European adults who are estranged from their own families. The film, which is a co-production of the Goethe-Institut in Accra, follows three Europeans who have been sent to Ghana through the ADOPTED organisation.
ADOPTED is a collaboration of an artist and a documentary filmmaker – a documentary utopia. Back in 2004, Gudrun F. Widlok came up with the ADOPTED art project, for which she has won several awards. She set up a fictional adoption agency in numerous exhibition spaces in Germany, and later in Burkina Faso and Ghana, and posed the question of the reversal of the usual adoption situation: instead of sending African children to European foster parents, lonely Europeans, whose family ties have been cut and who are searching for values, such as the feeling of security and belonging, should be adopted instead. The response was tremendous, and the onslaught of Europeans willing to be adopted by African foster families forced the project to become a reality. The idea for the film was created in collaboration with Rouven Rech. After a research trip to Ghana, the team was able to accompany three protagonists to their new families in June 2009.
Director: Gudrun F. Widlok, Rouven Rech, color, 89 min., 2010, in German and English with English subtitles
The ADOPTED organisation provides sponsor parents in Africa for European adults without any family ties. Extended families in Ghana are awaiting the imminent meeting with their new family members.
Ludger from Berlin only recently learned about ADOPTED. Disappointed by his emotionally cold environment and isolated from his friends and family, he has been looking for a way out for some time now. Hesitantly, he applies to the ADOPTED organisation and is chosen much faster than he had expected.
Thelma, on the other hand, is waiting impatiently for the moment of departure. A family in Accra (Ghana) has already accepted to foster her and she is happy to finally get to meet them. She packs her suitcase, gives away her furniture and takes wing – maybe for ever.
Gisela is also feeling anxious. The last year has not been easy for her. Since her husband’s death, she doesn’t quite know where she belongs. She feels as if she’s been abandoned in her big house, which she’s thinking of selling, before moving back to her old homeland, Swabia. She hears about ADOPTED on the radio and contacts them.
The film describes the lives of the protagonists, their journey to Africa and a process of anticipated closeness and inevitable misunderstandings.
At the Goethe Institut Chicago we promote knowledge of the German language and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany's cultural, social and political life. We greatly emphasize support and sponsorship for translators, as well as translations of texts from German to English.
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