Dirt for Dinner

LaToya Beck is a Ph.D. student in the African Diaspora Studies Program in UC Berkeley's Department of African American Studies.

(Dreckfresser). This intriguing look at the dreams and delusions of a multicultural Europe follows Sam Meffire, a man who is many things to many people. The son of a Cameroonian father and a German mother, Meffire overcame the unspoken racism of then-East Germany (“officially, one wasn't xenophobic in communist East Germany,” states an interviewee) to become the first black policeman in that country's history (in 1992). He became nationally famous when his face was used in an anti-racism advertising campaign, but his life took an even more unexpected turn in 1996, when he was arrested for armed robbery and blackmail. Director Branwen Okpako charts Meffire's rise and fall through a mix of interviews, exposé, and even the poetry of Meffire himself. He uses his tale of integration found, then lost again, to expose Germany's failed promises to its minority citizens, and the many paradoxes of a life lived as both policeman and criminal, “African” and “Saxon.”

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