Otomo (film)

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Original title Otomo
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1999
length 82 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Frieder Schlaich
script Klaus Pohl ,
Frieder Schlaich
production Irene von Alberti ,
Thomas Lechner
music Don Philippe
camera Volker Tittel
cut Magdolna Rokob

Otomo is a German film drama from 1999 based on a true story - the murder of a police officer on Gaisburg Bridge . The film tries to depict the living conditions of the socially isolated asylum seeker Frédéric Beyida-Otomo, which could have led him to the act. His previous conviction for dangerous bodily harm from the previous year is not mentioned in the film. The following text is displayed before the credits:

“On August 9, 1989 [correct would be 8], they died in Stuttgart
two young police officers on the Gaisburger bridge
and Frederic Otomo.
Three other officers were seriously injured.
The film is based on facts about life
by Frederic Otomo are known.
Where he is in the time between the driver's license test
in the Stuttgart tram at 6:14 am and the arrest
stayed on the Gaisburger bridge at 9:08 am is not known. "


At 4 a.m. on August 8, 1989, West African asylum seeker Frederic Otomo packs a suitcase, puts a few worn books on his clothes, takes a bayonet that he wraps in a newspaper and walks through the hallways of a dormitory. At the gate he gives the sleepy porter his suitcase to keep. Otomo makes his way to a temporary employment agency, where many men are already waiting in front of the locked gate. At the same time, the police officer Heinz drives with his colleague and friend Rolf Streife. Otomo doesn't get a job because he doesn't have a work permit. His papers, which he presents to the employment agency, say that, as an asylum seeker, he only has a toleration and will not get any work. Otomo leaves the "job exchange" frustrated. He's taking the tram into town.

During a ticket check, there is a dispute with one of the two tram inspectors about the validity of his ticket. The examiner holds the alleged dodger. Otomo, who knows about the validity of his ticket, pulls himself loose at the next stop and escapes from the tram. In doing so, he loses his bag. The tram inspectors report charges of bodily harm. A manhunt for the fugitive is initiated while the Otomos bag is being examined at the police station. You find a little bag of earth, a résumé, a letter to the Federal President, which shows that he comes from Liberia and had to flee, that he may be a German because his father fought in the German army in Cameroon . You can find a letter of application to Daimler-Benz under the papers . The police are looking for Otomo in a large-scale operation. Heinz and Rolf also start looking for the African as part of their patrol. This is hidden in the allotment gardens in the east of Stuttgart .

When he feels that the search for him has stopped, he moves more freely, goes to a church where he prays, visits a restaurant where he gets breakfast, tries in a parking lot with trucks from all over Europe to get into a truck from Holland. The driver catches him doing it, but offers to take him for 400 DM. In two hours he would be driving to Amsterdam . But Otomo does not have enough escape money. He sits down by the Neckar , tears up his papers and throws them into the water. Suddenly a little girl stands next to him and puts a flower in his hand. Otomo doesn't want them. The child succeeds in releasing Otomo from his rigidity. Gisela, the girl's grandmother, joins them. Otomo grabs her arm and demands money from her. She doesn't let Otomo intimidate her. She asks him his name, invites him to her daughter's apartment, where she is visiting, and shows him African dances in the living room. Finally, she withdraws money from a savings account that she takes from a drawer in the poor apartment.

Heinz and Rolf are now still on patrol and are looking for Otomo. Heinz says he's sure to get the black guy today. The paths cross. The police patrol car is in front of the house where Otomo is with Gisela and their grandchild. When Otomo runs into the parking lot with the money for his escape to get on the truck to Holland, he just sees it leave. The two policemen who see Otomo running are chasing him. They hold him on the Gaisburg Bridge . Four more police officers arrive during the personal screening. Otomo opposes the officials' attempt to take him away. With his back to the railing, he reaches into the inside pocket of his jacket, pulls out his bayonet and stabs the officers. He kills Heinz and Rolf and injures three other police officers before he himself is fatally hit by the gun of one of the injured officers. The film ends with archive footage of the funeral service for the killed police officers and with silent images of Otomo's funeral.


The film tells the last three hours in the life of the African Albert Ament. He came to Germany in 1981 as a stowaway on a cargo ship from Liberia. His asylum application was rejected in 1982, but he could not be deported because no other country would accept him. In 1988 he was convicted of dangerous physical harm. Most recently Ament lived in a Kolping House in Stuttgart in a 14 square meter room that Caritas had rented for him.

On August 8, 1989, he was arrested during a ticket check in a Stuttgart tram. However, he panicked, forcibly tore himself free and fled. When Ament was caught by six police officers on the Gaisburg Bridge a few hours later, he resisted arrest and killed the two officers Harald Poppe and Peter Quast with a bayonet . Three others were seriously injured before Ament was fatally wounded by five gunshots by police officers.

Historical mistakes

Despite extensive research, for which the director even rented two rooms in a demolished house in Otomo's neighborhood, the film contains at least one historical error.

In the first half of the film, the young policeman Rolf raps a self-composed text to his older colleague. In terms of content, the piece is reminiscent of the early texts of Fantastischen Vier , but the emergence of German rap was only noticed by the media in the early 90s. Theoretically, however, it would have been possible that the young police officer had attended the first gig of the Stuttgart band in July 1989 in Stuttgart-Wangen and was inspired by it.

More serious is the mistake that the police officer in his text u. a. the rap piece "Oh Shit, Frau Schmidt" by the Dortmund rapper Der Wolf was mentioned, which, however, only came out 8 years later and reached chart positions in German-speaking countries.

Individual evidence

  1. From the sippy cup. In: Der Spiegel . Vol. 1989, No. 33, August 14, 1989, pp. 66-70.
  2. ↑ A murderer out of nowhere, Die Zeit

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