THE EMPTY GRAVE follows the emotional journey of two Tanzanian families in search of their stolen ancestors. Their quest leads them to Germany where tens of thousands of human remains from former German colonies are stored in museum depots - a haunting legacy of colonial plunder in the early 20th century, taken for racist research and as macabre trophies.
Set in the present, the film unveils the enduring traces and traumas inflicted by colonial crimes on families and communities. It navigates the obscure maze of German and Tanzanian bureaucracy, revealing the struggle to reckon with this painful history. While the issue has gained politica attention, the film shifts perspectives and highlights the resilience of the families while probing the complexity of identifying an repatriating these human remains.
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Agnes Lisa Wegner, Cece Mlay
Hannah von Hübbenet
Nathalie Somville, Peter Morlock
Sara Günter (ZDF)
Christoph Holthof, Daniel Reich, Amil Shivji