Das Rotohr / Red Ears

Documentary with animations, 30min


The New York Times Op-Docs


Tampere Film Festival, Grand Prix & Audience Award
13 years after his civil service in a hospital in Thiès, Senegal, Paul challenges his memories and traumas. With old video footage, interviews and animations he questions his role as a volunteer within the German system of development aid.

Directors Note

Chonko Nopp - Red Ears: These were the first words of Wolof that I learned in Senegal. An expression to describe white people because ‘their ears turn red under the African sun.’ In the documentary ‘Das Rotohr’ I reflect on my one year civil service I did in Thiès/ Senegal in 2010. The film is based on hours of immediate video observations during my stay in Senegal and a present-day interview with a Senegalese woman who I met at the time. Memories of my work in a local hospital and my encounters with the German NGO are completed with animated scenes throughout the film. My mixed personal experiences as a young person over a decade ago are contrasted with reflections on Western development aid. As many young school-leavers in Germany I wanted to make a difference by helping the poor in the ‘Global South’. Yet, my ideals were altered by reality. I made this film to question our Western perspective on development aid in African countries.



  • Script, Editing, Compositing

    Christoph Hans

  • Animation
  • Script, Animation, Kamera

    Paul Drey

  • Camera Belgium

    Markus Ott

  • Set Sound Belgium

    Lukas Reiter

  • Music
  • Voice recording, Sound Design, Foleys

    Vincent Egerter

  • Grading

    Christoph Bockisch

  • Producer

    Max Breuer, Nils Gustenhofen

  • additional Sound recording Senegal

    Julius Sundermann

  • Sound recording

    Lukas Neckritz

  • Animation voices by

    Pius Maria Cüppers
    Abdoulaye Faye
    Michael Stiller
    Abou Sow