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Land of Good | Seeking Asylum in Germany, and Finding Hatred

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.

Director Statement

“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.

  • Ainara Tiefenthäler
    Director
  • Ainara Tiefenthäler
    Producer
  • Andrew Ellis
    Cinematographer
  • Shane O'Neill
    Editor
  • Liz O. Baylen
    Executive Producer
  • Aaron Byrd
    Title Graphics
  • Daphne Rustow
    Assistant Editor
  • Meghean Felling
    Assistant Editor
  • Isaac Royffe
    Color
  • Eli Epstein
    Audio Mix
  • Lucas Carey
    Origial Music
  • Katharina-Marie Mertens
    Production Assistant
  • Christopher Lister
    Translator
  • Mosab Frefer
    Translator
  • Yousur Al-Hlou
    Translator
  • Ainara Tiefenthäler
    Translator
  • Toni Lehder
    Additional Photography
  • Jens Kaczmrek
    Additional Photography
  • Jens Kaczmarek
    Additional Video
  • Thomas Schellengerger
    Additional Video
  • Film Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 21, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany
  • Film Language:
    Arabic, German
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
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