From the transformative potential of music and theatre, to the precariousness of ‘home’ and the contradictions of immigration law, these features offer you a rich range of storylines.
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.
2014, 98 minutes
A Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria. They decide to help them complete their journey to Sweden – and hopefully avoid getting themselves arrested as traffickers – by faking a wedding. With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and a dozen or so Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, they cross halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of three thousand kilometres.
2014, 70 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles
Queens of Syria tells the story of fifty women from Syria, all forced into exile in Jordan, who came together in Autumn 2013 to create and perform their own version of the Trojan Women, the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy about the plight of women in war. What followed was an extraordinary moment of cross-cultural contact across millennia, in which women born in 20th century Syria found a blazingly vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them, uprooted, enslaved, and bereaved by the Trojan War.
2011, 100 minutes
Special Flight is a dramatic account of the plight of undocumented foreigners at the Frambois detention centre in Geneva, Switzerland, and of the wardens who struggle to reconcile humane values with the harsh realities of a strict deportation system. The 25 Frambois inmates featured are among the thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants imprisoned without charge or trial and facing deportation to their native countries, where they fear repression or even death. The film, made in Switzerland, is a heart-wrenching exposé of the contradictions between the country’s compassionate social policies and the intractability of its immigration laws.
2015, 99 minutes
Music is the beating heart of Malian culture. But when Islamic hardliners took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations of sharia law in history and, crucially for Mali, they banned all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and Mali’s musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, Mali’s revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile where most remain even now. But rather than lay down their instruments, the musicians are fighting back, standing up for their cultural heritage and identity. Through everything, they have used music as their weapon against the on-going violence that has left Mali ravaged.