News Column

Bi-racial filmmaker confronts the KKK and neo-nazis in 'Aryans' documentary

May 30, 2014

Mo Asumang's new documentary, The Ayrans, finds the filmmaker challenging racism head on as she travels the globe to confront the world's most notorious racists face-to-face and ask them politely about their prejudice.

Asumang, daughter of a white German mother and a black Ghanaian father and a well-known television personality in Germany, has been the target of extreme racism herself and decided to examine racial ideology at the source.

In The Aryans, Asumang travels to Germany to talk to neo-nazis, to America to have a conversation with a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and to an area of Iran where true Aryans originated as a people.

"These people don't actually talk to Jews," says Asumang in an interview with the BBC. "They don't talk to black people. They don't know their enemy, so-called enemy. So what they do, when they talk to me, they talk to reality, and that's the first thing they have to survive."

The BBC video shows Asumang confronting neo-nazi demonstrators who tell her to "go back to Africa" to which she replies, "Why would I go back to Africa? I was born here."

She confronts a KKK member who claims that he's not racist and she calmly informs him that, to her, his outfit represents hundreds of years of hate and terror.

Sitting on a park bench on a sunny day, she has a friendly conversation with a conservative man who tries to to explain to the bi-racial filmmaker why "race mixing" is a bad thing.

But at the end of their meeting, when it's time to part, he offers her a hug.

"I hope nobody sees a picture of that. I'll be through," the man says.

"I think it totally confuses them because I'm not like they want me to be, " Asumang says. "So I stand there, maybe I smile at them, and because it's a human reaction, you wanna smile back. So I see them trying to hold down the smile, and that's something very very interesting."

Asumang's The Aryans, a documentary about confronting racism, might be less about confrontation and conflict and more about how racism has a hard time holding its ground in the face of genuine human connection.

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Source: UPI Top Stories

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