Root Event

5. Werkleitz Biennale 2002 Zugewinngemeinschaft
DE 2000

“A Saxon” – this caption above the photo of the policeman Sam Meffire, was used in a 1992 advertisement for the Federal State of Saxony.
After numerous racist attacks, and in the wake of Hoyerswerda, this image was meant to serve as a symbol of the State’s openness and tolerance in during the early 90s. Dreckfresser reconstructs the biography of the Afro- German, Sam Meffire. The perspectives, stories
and narrative styles gained from interviews with Sam Meffire, his mother, his former colleagues as well as journalists are used to gradually put together his story. The filmmaker can also be seen briefly – her questions shape the path of this reconstruction. Sam Meffire’s family story in the GDR began with the extreme experience of racism: while his mother was in the hospital awaiting the birth of her son, his father was murdered and his body was taken outside the country overnight. A second strand the film pursues deals with Meffire’s actions as an adult during East Germany’s transition to West German-type capitalism. The Saxon billboard campaign claimed there were no differences, but it actually marked the difference between Sam Meffire and other Saxons, and thus made him popular. He gave interviews, participated in TV talk shows and began a strangely charged friendship with Heinz Eggert, Saxony’s Interior Secretary at the time. He founded his own security business in 1994, and subsequently used more and more force when carrying out client orders. Without giving a final explanation, the film hints at how these violent business practices could have been motivated or how they originated. The interview with Sam Meffire was conducted in a Saxon prison, where he is serving a ten-year sentence for armed robbery and extortion.

Branwen Okpako (DE), 2000, 75 min. (OF mit engl. UT).