For IDFA on Stage, director Mario Pfeifer adapted his project Again (the film version also features at the festival) to a live experience. It revolves around 21-year old Schabas Saleh Al-Aziz, who ended up being tied to a tree in Germany on May 21, 2016, after four men dragged him out of a supermarket and threw him to the ground. The action was triggered by the fact that Al-Aziz had repeatedly argued with a supermarket employee who sold him a defective phone card.
Background information reveals that Al-Aziz entered Germany half a year earlier, coming from Iraqi Kurdistan by way of the 4,000-kilometer “Balkan route.” He came to the country hoping to get treatment for his epilepsy, but was abandoned by all the organizations that could have helped him.
Video screens above the stage also show interviews with court witnesses, and excerpts from news footage that provide the context of racial tensions in a neglected and depleted former East Germany. With every new fact we learn, different questions arise about the actions taken by the vigilantes. What would you do, and at what point does heroic intervention become street justice?