Amma Asante, the acclaimed British director of Belle (2014) and A United Kingdom (Opening Night – BFF16) returns with Where Hands Touch, a disquieting story about a love so fierce it transcends the most terrible divides conceivable.
Rudesheim, the Rhineland, 1944. 15-year-old Lenya (Amandla Stenberg, The Hunger Games 2012), daughter of a white German mother and a black father, has come of age during the chaos of war. Her mother (Abbie Cornish, 6 Days BFF17) has done her best to protect Lenya, but the racist credo of National Socialism has rendered her a pariah for the colour of her skin. Yet young affection can bloom in the most unlikely places: Lenya is in love with Lutz (George MacKay, also in Ophelia), a member of the Hitler Youth. Lutz remains drawn to Lenya despite Nazi revulsion at the thought of a Black German. When that revulsion escalates to direct threat to her survival, Lenya and Lutz must face the outcome of their impossible romance.
Asante has made an astonishingly bold and unnervingly timely film. Where Hands Touch foregrounds matters of the heart while prompting us to consider the slippery process of a nation's radicalisation.