Hatschi Bratschi: A film by Laura Unger & Songül Sönmez
How would you react if, in the middle of one of the most anti-immigrant elections in history, you realized that your favorite childhood book is filled with racist stereotypes? Laura Unger & Songül Sönmez take to the streets of Vienna to ask this very question.
Hatschi Bratschi is one of the most famous children’s book in Austria, and features a small, dark-skinned man who travels around Europe in a hot air balloon kidnapping bad children. It’s a classic cautionary tale, meant to warn children: “If you don’t behave, Hatschi Bratschi will come for you.”
Unfortunately, the message is grounded in xenophobic roots. In the wake of the rise of the right in Europe, the issue with the messaging of Hatschi Bratschi is all too clear for one little girl.
“If you read a book saying that people from the Orient are bad, then you maybe sometimes think about this the wrong way,” she said.