At 4.00 am in the Place de la République in Paris, while returning home from a Christmas dinner, young Édouard meets Reda, a man who has an Algerian background. They get talking, start to flirt and soon Édouard is taking Reda back to his studio apartment. The two spend the night together. Reda talks about his childhood and his father who fled to France from Algeria. The mood is playful, they laugh, exchange caresses and have sex. But when, as they say goodbye to each other a few hours later, Édouard discovers his smartphone is missing and Reda suddenly takes out a gun and threatens him, the situation quickly turns to one of intimidation, violence and rape.
The next morning, Édouard goes to the police and seeks medical attention. At a loss over how to deal with his trauma, he flees to his sister Clara in provincial northern France and confides his story to her. The reactions to the dramatic incident by the people around him as well as the police and medical staff who are treating him uncover the racism, homophobia and obscure power structures deeply rooted in society.
In his autobiographical novel »History of Violence«, with his reconstruction of a traumatic night, French author Édouard Louis creates a work which is both a personal and penetrating social analysis of coming of age, desire, migration and racism and, in the diversity of voices reacting to the crime committed against him, makes audible the socially repressed forms of violence.
Thomas Ostermeier has co-adapted the novel with Édouard Louis for its German-language theatre premiere.
(Program in German. With German surtitles for the hearing impaired on 08.11.2022)