'Where Hands Touch' faces more backlash on social media over controversial Nazi love story
3 January 2019, 17:39 | Updated: 3 January 2019, 22:46
"They got this nazi teaching Jazz to a black girl."
Amandla Stenberg's 2018 film Where Hands Touch has drawn fresh criticism after becoming available to watch and stream on iTunes on New Year's day. The film, directed by British writer and director Amma Asante, stars Amandla as a biracial German teen named Leyna who falls for a member of The Hitler Youth during WWII.
The film attracted criticism for its controversial premise last year and Amandla defended Where Hands Touch, telling Variety that "what the movie does really beautifully is it demonstrates what happens with these tricky intersections of identity and how we still continue to be human and love and be loved, despite that.”
Much of the fresh criticism of Where Hands Touch comes from people concerned that the film "romanticises" the atrocities of WWII by telling a love story about a young Nazi and a biracial person.
where hands touch has a sex scene between a mixed girl and a member of hitler youth....you can’t make this shit up— bryan singer is making money off of homophobia (@mothermarkos) January 2, 2019
So we have Jeremy Harris’ #SlavePlay depicting enslaved Black women twerking to seduce massa on the plantation....— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) January 3, 2019
...and Amma Asante’s #WhereHandsTouch film has a Black woman falling in love with a nazi during the Holocaust.
What the entire hell is wrong with y’all? pic.twitter.com/KCWWCgnD6Z
The fact that neither the actors/producers/director revalued if a movie about humanising nazi's in a politically climate where neonazi's are on the rise is...concerning #wherehandstouch pic.twitter.com/gtczXnSr2Q— Anna (@KendridKamonne) January 3, 2019
In the film, Leyna and Lutz become romantically involved despite the danger (and the fact that he's a whole entire Nazi). Leyna's mother warns her to stay away from Lutz, calling him a "son of a Nazi" and advising her that their sneaking around could endanger them both.
Despite these warnings, Leyna and Lutz become close and spend more time together. A scene where Amandla's character refers to jazz as "ni**er music" has also garnered the internet's attention and ire.
where hands touch wanted to call black artists' work nigger music & dip https://t.co/17BQsyDLao— ًpel JISOO (@blackitypink) January 2, 2019
They got this nazi teaching Jazz to a black girl pic.twitter.com/EoelwTyMcp— A Pimp Named Darkseid (@ApokolipsPimp) January 3, 2019
Me to Amma Assante after seeing that Where Hands Touch clip pic.twitter.com/Ychm3if3WS— Ray Lewis (@RayLewis1997) January 3, 2019
Not everyone had a negative reaction to the film, though.
Just watched #WhereHandsTouch on itunes. A masterpiece of film beautifully done by @AmmaAsante . @amandlastenberg performance is breathtaking ! My heart is heavy but this kind of stories need to be told and amplified. pic.twitter.com/eRH8xjmpjU— Lizy (@lizcriolla) January 2, 2019
Some people called Where Hands Touch "beautifully done" and praised Amma Asante and Amandla Stenberg.
In response to the initial backlash, Amma Asante said last year that "when people talk about it as a romance, and romanticising Nazism, that is the one thing this movie does not do. I hope that people walk away being really, really clear about the story that I have tried to tell. I hope that people walk away moved.”