2015, 58 minutes
AT HOME IN THE WORLD is an intimate depiction of the everyday lives of five refugee children on a Danish Red Cross asylum school.
In the schoolyard, Magomed quietly watches from the sidelines as his classmates fight over the soccer ball. The shy, pensive boy is no different in the classroom, where he studies Danish with full concentration. The 10-year-old Chechnyan refugee and his fellow classmates at the Red Cross school in the Danish town of Lynge are hoping to get a residence permit.
This observational, poetic documentary follows Magomed’s class as they sing, do arts and crafts, play and argue, just like kids do at any other school. The difference is that these children all bear their own painful memories. Among them is Ali from Afghanistan, who, like his traumatized father, is plagued by nightmares. There’s restless Amel, who misses his friends back in Bosnia, and a Chechnyan named Heda who’s preparing for the exciting transition into a regular school with the help of her dedicated teacher. This same teacher believes that Magomed is very bright and is ready to take that step as well, but Magomed is hesitant. A conversation between the teacher and his father reveals that the boy isn’t only haunted by a traumatic memory, but also faces the frightening prospect of his dad not being able to stay in Denmark.
To get a copy of your chosen film, please contact Rebecca Day from the Scottish Documentary Institute at rebecca
Awards & Nominations
Best mid-length film, IDFA 2015
Nomination for best documentary of 2015, Robert – Danish Film Academy Award
Nomination for best documentary 2015, Bodil – Danish Film Critics Award
Grant from The Danish Art Council for outstanding work in films in 2015
Post-screening conversation questions
- The film’s young protagonists negotiate home-making in a foreign country. How do they make a new ‘home’ in a new country?
- What is Dorte’s role in the film? Why does the filmmaker decide to show the five children’s stories through Dorte’s eyes?
- How does the filmmaker challenge the tendency to victimise young children and deny them any form of agency, through the presentation of their personal narratives?
- Director Andreas Koefoed, argues he wanted to show “ordinary kids in an extraordinary situation.” How does the film succeed in showing the experience of exile through a child’s eyes?