Amandla Stenberg’s interracial Nazi Germany love story sparks storm of outrage
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A biracial teen struggles to survive and falls in love with a member of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany during World War II — yes, this is the plotline of an actual movie from 2018, and yes, Twitter had a lot to say.
The Amma Asante-directed drama “Where Hands Touch” stars Amandla Stenberg as Leyna, a biracial teenager living in Nazi Germany who falls in love with Lutz (George MacKay).
Although the film premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, Twitter started buzzing in the past few days thanks to the movie being made available to stream on New Year’s Day.
Both Stenberg and Asante defended the movie prior to its release.
“I think something that [Asante] is the most fascinated by and thinks is the most profound is the intersection of identity and how it’s changed by our environments and our governments and by our peers and our families, and that was her intention with ‘Where Hands Touch,’” Stenberg said in an interview with Variety in September.
Asante took to Instagram to make some clarifications about the movie.
“So many of you have had questions and concerns about this First Look image so I want to assure you that this film does not romanticize Nazis in any way,” Asante said in the caption alongside an image from the film back in February 2017.
However, Twitter wasn’t buying it, and people were quick to point out what they say are major flaws in the movie.
One Twitter user pointed to “the fact that the Where Hands Touch movie took weeks, if not months to make and not one person, ACTORS INCLUDED, thought hmmm…maybe this ain’t it, is killing me.”
Another Twitter user said that the movie “is proof that just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
“Amandla probably thought she left Where Hands Touch in 2018 and yet here we are bringing it into 2019,” said another Twitter user.
Someone else on Twitter invoked Oprah in GIF form, tweeting: “Where Hands Touch is being rightfully dragged to kingdom come and I’m just thinking about when it was announced and how many people tried to tell Amma and Amandla it was a bad move. And now here we are.”
Another Twitter user tweeted: “A movie about a black person falling in love with Nazis in 2018…what a failure to read the proverbial room.”
A screenshotted Twitter direct message conversation served as a critique in another tweet. One person said in multiple messages: “I SKIPPED TO THE END … AND YOU KNOW HOW IN ROM COMS THEY RUSH TO THE AIRPORT … WELL IN THIS ONE … THEY RUSH TO A CONCENTRATION CAMP.”
Others complained about the time they wasted watching the movie.
“So I finally watched the movie ‘where hands touch” and I need my 2 hours of watching that movie BACK,” someone tweeted with a corresponding meme.
“Welp! 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back,” another person tweeted. “Cheers to this absolute dumpster fire of a movie movie.”
However, not everyone had a negative view of the movie.
One Twitter user said the movie “was beautifully done. I wish more people would give it a chance before judging.”
Another person tweeted: “A masterpiece of film beautifully done by @AmmaAsante . @amandlastenberg performance is breathtaking ! My heart is heavy but this kind of stories need to be told and amplified.”
Yet another fan tweeted that they are “so full of emotion right now it just ended and tears are streaming down my face as I write this.This role was made for @amandlastenberg she played Leyna so beautifully.”
Anika Reed, USA Today
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