Pages in the Factory of Dreams
Black Extras in German Feature Films
45 min.


WDR 2002
Digibeta, 4:3, Mono, German version and
German version with English subtitles
Photography:
Ulrich Prinz
Editor:
Angela Oechler
Historical Advisor:
Paulette Reed-Anderson
Producer:
Beate Schlanstein


It is estimated that until 1942 about 100 German colonial propaganda films set in Africa had been produced. They were shot in Germany with black Germans and Africans living in Germany. Who were those black extras, how did they end up in Germany? Why did they work in the film industry? What were their parts about, what message did they convey? What were their daily experiences as Blacks in the Weimar Republik and in Nazi Germany?

The history documentary “Pages in the Factory of Dreams” provides answers to these questions on two levels: Memorable feature-film scenes, from Ernst Lubitsch's “Oyster Princess” to Joseph von Baky's “Münchhausen,” are historically classified and critiqued. And four of those former black extras, who started their careers as children, speak about their lives: Werner Egiomue, Juliana Michael, Theodor Michael and Elisabeth Morton.
These witnesses' views provide insight into a hitherto unexplored chapter of German history and film history which still reverberate today.

Theodor Michael, main witness in the film “Pages in the Factory of Dreams“ published his autobiography „Deutsch Sein Und Schwarz Dazu” October 2013 with DTV Premium. Have a look at some of the author’s private images:

 


> Prix Iris 2002, Zweiter Platz
> Artikel zur Kolonialgeschichte: „Ein Platz an der afrikanischen Sonne“
> Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD)






Further reading
Theodor Michael:
Deutsch Sein Und Schwarz Dazu
Erinnerungen eines Afrodeutschen
DTV Premium, Oktober 2013
ISBN 978-3-423-26005-3