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An 18th-century African boy, kidnapped into slavery, rises through the ranks of Viennese high society in this powerful, formally stunning work.

Based on true events, the second feature from Markus Schleinzer (Michael, MIFF 2011) tells the story of Angelo Soliman, a young Nigerian boy taken from his homeland and sold to a European countess (Happy as Lazzaro’s Alba Rohrwacher) as a servant for a social experiment. As an adult serving as the Viennese court mascot, Angelo becomes the unlikely toast of high society, before his secret marriage to a white woman is discovered – with tragic consequences.

Drawing from a wide palette of cinematic references, from Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon to Pedro Costa and Lucrecia Martel, Schleinzer builds on his austere formalism to deliver a film that explodes the sinister hypocrisy of the era’s class privilege, while charting Angelo’s strange journey into whiteness and its echoes in today’s culture.

“A genuinely arresting arthouse must-watch … Schleinzer, like his central character, uses silence as a tool and a weapon.” – Screen Daily

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