SynopsisIt’s extremely unlikely that anyone remembers the name of Majub bin Adam Mohamed Hussein aka Mohamed Husen. Majub, born in Darussalam and a German colonial soldier in the First World War, was a popular extra and bit player in 1930s German cinema. When the films of the Nazi era called for a black character, it was usually Majub who was cast alongside Hans Albers, Heinz Rühmann or Zarah Leander.
Meticulously researched facts, circumstantial evidence and the reflections they give rise to (recited by Jule Böwe) form the energetic centre of this amazing biography of the African Majub on the background of German film and colonial history. Majub, who died in Sachsenhausen in 1944, is part of German cinema’s sky-full of stars. You won’t see him from a distance, because then you will only notice the light of the “A-list” artists whose big names are usually enough. But if you come closer and the B- and C-category stars begin to twinkle, each of them shining forth as part of a constellation, the world will open up wide and art will be enriched. In that sense, director Eva Knopf’s idea to have her film begin in an observatory is heartbreakingly beautiful. (DOKLeipzig, Ralph Eue