A group of Berlin’s teenagers with a migration background decides to stage the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in order to find a way to survive and respond against the racial brutality of German police and society.
Who is behind the costumes that entertain the children and tourists in Times Square? How does it feel to be behind the mask of a beloved American super hero and treated like a second class citizen?
After New York City stopped penalizing street performers in 2011, the number of people working as costume performers in Time Square has exploded.. Mainly they are immigrants from Latin America, mostly without legal permission to live in the US. While their goals are to earn money and support themselves and their families abroad, they are faced with bad weather conditions, criminals who rob them, clients who are less than courteous, as well as police officers, who try their best to keep the costumed performers off the street. Some of the performers have even claimed that these police officers cannot bare the sight of their financial success and the praise they receive from children and tourist. Through interviews with tourist, illegal immigrants, failed actors, the unemployed and corrupt police officers, "Superhustle" explores not only the underbelly of Times Square but also the costumed heroes behind the mask. Through the eyes of the protagonist who works day in and day out, we are catapulted inside the reasons, the emotions and the contradictions which led people from all around the world to chase the American dream in the most famous square in the world.
Find out who are these masked personalities and the NYC Police Officers who want them off the streets, and the man who decided to defend their rights against the brutality of a society. "Superhustle" is a delirious trip inside the real life of the blue collared superheroes of New York City.
Riccardo Valsecchi is an awarded writer, photographer and filmmaker know for his works about migration, racism, cultural changes and international policies. He speaks and write in Italian, English and German.
"What if Martin Luther King or Malcolm X were fighting against racism in Berlin today?" This is a question that a group of Berliner teenagers with a migration background point out when they decide to stage a play about racism in Germany today. Thanks to an immaginary trip through the history of the US Civil Rights Movement they find the energy to cope with a society where they are victims of discrimination and racial profiling. But suddenly the reality bursts on the stage when the German authorities decide to move the 17-years old asylum seeker Ibrahima, one of the actor, in another refugee center in Dormund.
A new energy enforces the group and the messages of such heroes as Martin and Malcolm become even stronger. The life of their beloved friend Ibrahima depends on the success of the play, whose premiere is the last possibility to demonstrate that he is an essential part of the art community in Berlin–that the arts unify, do not divide.