This year’s lineup for the 48th annual New Directors/New Films will introduce 24 features and 11 short films to New York audiences, with 15 films directed or co-directed by women.
NAME OF FILM: ANGELO
DIRECTOR(S): Markus Schleinzer
STARRING: Makita Samba, Alba Rohrwacher, Larisa Faber
GENRE: Drama Film
SYNOPSIS: Based on historical fact, Angelo charts the career of an African slave sold into 18th-century Viennese court society. Captured as a young boy, Angelo becomes the pet project of a wealthy countess (Alba Rohrwacher), who carries out what she believes is her Christian duty to civilize him. As the years progress, Angelo rises to become her surrogate prodigal son and the beloved Court Moor of the Habsburg empire: the projection of every European fantasy of the noble savage. When an astonishing secret is exposed, Angelo is banished, leading to a horrifying, dehumanizing fate. Markus Schleinzer traces Angelo’s life with a clinical sobriety, but also with an artifice (painted sets, blackface, exoticizing costumes and dioramas, sudden contemporary intrusions) that serves to reinforce the idea of race as a persistent prejudicial construct.
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