An elderly German woman (Moira) and a black youth (Outlaw) sit side-by-side on a Berlin streetcar in this twelve-minute 35mm film that has been screened in over 100 cities from Cannes to Reykjavik, from London to Taiwan, and from Paris to Toronto. The film has been the frequent subject of international scholarship, is part of the curriculum in many German schools and has had millions of YouTube views in multiple, multilingual uploads and unauthorized edits.
Schwarzfahrer (translated both literally and lyrically as “Black Rider” but more accurately rendered as “Fare Dodger”) won top prizes at numerous international film festivals, including those in New York, Berlin, Cairo, Minsk, Jerusalem, Hamburg, Quebec and Sydney. In the United States, it has been screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, as well as at festivals in Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Sundance, where it had its US premiere.
“Schwarzfahrer is a trenchant and stylistically assured work which makes the best use of all possibilities open to the short film. The film deals with a topical subject in a very humorous and extremely entertaining manner. The jury only wishes that German feature films would portray burning social issues and events with a similar lightness of touch and craftsmanship.”
- Jury statement at the awarding of the first Panorama Prize of the New York Film Academy, 43rd International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, 1993
(unsubtitled version below; lower-quality versions with English subtitles available all over YouTube)