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Film / Schwarzfahrer

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Schwarzfahrer is a 1994 Oscar-winning German ten-minute short, directed by Pepe Danquart. It promotes racial tolerance.

A young black man sits next to an old lady on a Berlin bus. This prompts the old lady to go on a very nasty racist screed about how the country's being flooded with illegal immigrants who take all the jobs and won't learn German customs. She then receives some Laser-Guided Karma.

The German term "Schwarzfahrer" means "fare dodger", but with can be read literally (with some license) as "black passenger" (black used here in the sense of illegal). The title therefore is a pun, as it plays in a tram in Berlin.

It can be watched on YouTube (or, if you prefer it recapped for you, see the recap page).

This short shows examples of:

  • Answer Cut: Cue the punk entering the tram.
  • Apathetic Citizens: None of the passengers (save the Turkish teenager) speak out against her ravings or defend the African man. They opt to ignore her instead. To their credit, they're just as silent when she gets kicked off the bus at the end, despite most of them seeing her ticket get eaten.
  • Cassandra Truth: When the old lady tells the conductor the black man ate her ticket, she does so in such a virulently racist way NO conductor would even begin to believe her.
  • Crying Wolf: The old lady at the end, when trying to explain to the conductor that the black guy ate her tickets.
  • Death by Racism: Not death, but the old lady's removal from the train wouldn't have happened if she hadn't spent the last ten minutes spewing unprovoked racism at the black man.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: It's a black and white movie. Get it?
  • Eat the Evidence: Not really evidence, but the principle is the same.
  • For the Evulz: Not that the old lady had any specified reason to affront the black guy.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Yeah, it did feel really good when the old hag was taken care of in the end.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The old lady tries to be one. Nobody listens, and the only one who openly supports her is probably as old as her.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with the tram trundling away, the old lady not on it.
  • Racial Face Blindness: The Racist Grandma is really racist. She remarks how it's impossible to keep track of all the illegal immigrants because "they all look alike."
  • Racist Grandma: The old lady. Resultant from Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
  • Refuge in Audacity: Rather brilliantly done - of course no one is going to believe the racist lady when she says the black guy ate her ticket.
  • Scenery Porn: Some. Many pics of Berlin's inner city are shown, like outside the tram windows.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Again, the lady.
  • Stealth Pun: The title.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Subverted. But the attitude and the age of the old lady in 1994 might fit. And the old man's probably too.