'Where Hands Touch' faces more backlash on social media over controversial Nazi love story

3 January 2019, 17:39

Where Hands Touch screenshot
Picture: Vertical Entertainment/Screenshot
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

"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.

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.

Not everyone had a negative reaction to the film, though.

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.”

What did you guys think of Where Hands Touch? Did you enjoy the film or take issue with some parts of it?