This documentary short dance film is based on Gizem Aksu’s spectral friendship with Sinti-Roman boxing legend of Germany, Johann Rukeli Trollmann (1907-1944) and the inter-generational and inter-geographical journey of this friendship.
Rukeli Trollmann was exposed to many forms of discrimination by the Nazi regime because of “boxing by dancing like Gypsy” and was murdered in the Wittenberge Concentration Camp. Inspired by the fight of Rukeli Trollmann, the film traces the artist’s experience of immigration to Berlin and the fight for justice in Istanbul.
In Istanbul, three more dancers join the dance/fight of Rukeli by sharing the power of dance in their fight for justice: Gizem Nalbant, who experienced urban transformation in Romani neighborhood, Sulukule where she was born and grew up; Banu Açıkdeniz who has been researching on feminist body politics; and Sema Semih, who has been part of LGBTQI+ movement for many years. As it carries Rukeli’s story to Sulukule and Fikirtepe Neighborhoods, the film throws a 9/8 rhythmical look into Istanbul’s recent urban memory through the bodies of dancers.