An entry to the 61st annual Berlin International Film Festival portrays the life of aid workers and how they struggle to rejoin society in their home countries.
“Sleeping Sickness” by German director Ulrich Koehler premiered Feb. 12. It is about Ebbo and Vera, two European aid workers who spent most of their lives in Africa. When Ebbo returns to Germany for his family’s sake, he finds himself struggling with his own identity and no longer thinks of Germany as home.
“I don’t think that my protagonists lack human feelings, it’s just a difficult and complex situation where you will never be a normal part of society,” Koehler was quoted by Agence France-Presee as saying. “At the same time, you get used to a certain social status and autonomy which you will never have when you’re working in Germany.”
As a child, Koehler lived with his parents in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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