Amandla Stenberg isn’t the kind of 19-year-old Hollywood star who shies away from the ugliness of the world. She tells those stories on film. In the new Where Hands Touch trailer, we see the actress behind The Hate U Give and The Darkest Minds amid the backdrop of the Holocaust in 1944 Germany.
Director Amma Asante, the noteworthy talent behind 2013’s Belle with A Wrinkle In Time‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, tells another historical drama about 15-year-old Leyna, the daughter of a white German woman (Abbie Cornish) and a black African father.
As a mixed-raced German citizen, Leyna struggles to find her place in a Nazi-riddled Berlin, which makes her unlikely romance with Lutz (George MacKay), a compassionate member of the Hitler Youth, more unexpected. Their love now faces the wrath of Nazi Germany and, specifically, Lutz’s father (Christopher Eccleston), a high-ranking Nazi soldier.
Asante tells PEOPLE that her own background as a black woman “being born and raised in Europe” compelled her to tell a story like this. “I realized a long time ago that the histories of black people in Europe were never really told,” she says. “Our existence at certain crucial times in history has rarely been acknowledged along with the variety of our experiences, and identities never really given prominence on the big screen.”
Where Hands Touch will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting theaters on Sep. 14.