Where Hands Touch

Where Hands Touch

Amma Asante (2018)

121min
12A Certificate
ADVERTISEMENT

Review

Our Score
Despite revisiting themes examined with tact, intelligence and precision in Belle (2013) and A United Kingdom (2016), director Amma Asante allows cliché and contrivance to shape what could have been a fascinating saga inspired by the experiences of the 25,000 so-called "Rhineland bastards", who were fathered by French colonial troops during the Great War. Having relocated to Berlin with mother Kerstin (Abbie Cornish) and her younger white brother (Tom Sweet), half-Senegalese teenager Leyna (The Hate U Give's Amandla Stenberg) falls for a reluctant Hitler Youth recruit (George MacKay), who has learnt tolerance through the jazz records clandestinely owned by his soldier father (Christopher Eccleston). Despite insisting the cast adopt a faintly risible Germanic inflection, Asante just about maintains credibility as Stenberg and MacKay take reckless risks to be together (even though their on-screen chemistry is palpably lacking). But, once the scene switches to a concentration camp, proceedings descend into implausible melodrama to the swelling strains of Anne Chmelewsky's mawkishly manipulative score. A frustratingly wasted opportunity.

Summary

Leyna, the 15-year-old daughter of a white German mother and a black African father, meets a compassionate member of the Hitler Youth in 1944, whose father is a prominent Nazi soldier. The two form an unlikely connection and, as Leyna's mother strives to protect her from the horrors that she could face as a mixed-race German citizen, Leyna is forced to forge her own path in life. Drama, starring Abbie Cornish, Christopher Eccleston and Amandla Stenberg.

Cast & Crew

Leyna Amandla Stenberg
Lutz George MacKay
Kerstin Abbie Cornish
Heinz Christopher Eccleston
Hermine Olivia Vinall
Koen Tom Sweet
Wilhelm Tom Goodman-Hill
Juttner Alec Newman
Director Amma Asante
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Spirit EntertainmentReleased on: 10 May 2019
Drama