It all began with a painting. A few years ago, the German Historical Museum in Berlin acquired the painting “Prussian Love Happiness,” created in 1890, which shows a black man in Prussian uniform with his young white lover. What was behind the motif? An alliance scandaleuse? An allegory?
Art historian Gorch Pieken set out to research the background of this mysterious painting, and found that the uniformed black man did indeed exist…
Gustav Sabac el Cher. The father, August Albrecht Sabac el Cher, had been given as a gift to the Prussian Prince Albrecht in 1843 as a seven-year-old boy – by the Egyptian Viceroy Mehmed Ali. The prince took the boy to Berlin and had him trained as a Prussian officer. The family has lived in Germany ever since, with several generations serving in the imperial army, Hitler’s Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr. Even the racism of the Nazis survived the Sabac el Chers. Although the garden restaurant they ran on the outskirts of Berlin was boycotted and forced to close, one son of the family fought for “people and fatherland” in Russia. Gorch Pieken tells the amazing story of this family from its beginnings to the present day.
Production Cornelsen Films WGA#2166755
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