Escaping violence in Libya, Abode struggles to belong in a German town that has become a flashpoint of anti-immigrant anger.
Director Biography – Ainara Tiefenthäler
Ainara Tiefenthäler is a video producer at The New York Times. She covers breaking news, Europe, political extremism, and L.G.B.T. and women’s issues. A native German and Spanish speaker, she lived in Madrid, Berlin and Maine before moving to New York and joining The Times in 2015. “Land of Good” is Ainara’s directing debut.
“Land of Good” looks at the anti-refugee sentiment in Germany through the eyes Abode, a young man from Libya seeking asylum. He has become the flashpoint of conflict in Bautzen, a small town plagued by recent clashes between Germans and refugees. Meanwhile, a local resident, recognizing that much of the tension stems from idle youth, decides to put on a play —Romeo and Juliet— with a racially diverse cast. Her goal: stimulate conversation and cultural exchange. Understanding Abode not only as a leader but also a sensitive young man, she casts him as Mercutio in the play. But as the production nears its premiere, it becomes clear that our character’s reality is not as neat as this harmonious workshop.
In documenting Abode’s daily life, the film explores some of the larger issues facing the West: racial tensions, political extremism, media bias, the Internet’s pitfalls, police brutality, and social polarization. Published a few weeks after the white supremacist marches in Charlottesville, and days before Angela Merkel’s fourth term in office as Germany’s chancellor was foiled by an emerging far-right party, our film critically dissects democracy, tolerance, immigration, and humanity.