The heated debate on immigration policy that is currently raging within the European Union was “rather predictable” according to Markus Schleinzer, the director of Angelo, screened in the Official Selection yesterday. The Austrian director began writing the script five years ago and even then he sensed that things would reach the extreme situation that Europe was now going through.
Schleinzer pointed out that, “in Europe, the way we perceive foreigners has really changed very little since the eighteenth century. At that time black slaves were considered to be exotic objects and today we still see immigrants as ornaments.”
This historical drama follows the true story of Angelo Soliman, who was brought from Africa to Europe as a slave and became a servant at the Viennese court where he ended up as an attraction for high society. The director points out that, “they gave him the status of a free man, and they sold us the idea that he was an example of integration, but in actual fact he was a victim.”