FEATURES 2017

AT HOME IN THE WORLD

AT HOME IN THE WORLD

2015, 58mins

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.


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

1. The film’s young protagonists negotiate home-making in a foreign country. How do they make a new ‘home’ in a new country?

2. What is Dorte’s role in the film? Why does the filmmaker decide to show the five children’s stories through Dorte’s eyes?

3. 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?

4. 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?


RESOURCES

Moving Worlds Resource Page for AT HOME IN THE WORLD

Directors website

FEATURES 2017

Check out this great video

ON THE BRIDE'S SIDE

2014, 98mins

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. This emotionally charged journey not only brings out the stories and hopes and dreams of the five Palestinians and Syrians and their rather special traffickers, but also reveals an unknown side of Europe – a transnational, supportive and irreverent Europe that ridicules the laws and restrictions of the Fortress in a kind of masquerade which is no other than the direct filming of something that really took place on the road from Milan to Stockholm from the 14th to the 18th of November 2013.


AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

71 VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

HOT DOCS

IDFA

DUBAI International Festival

Documentary Edge

GRAND PRIX FIFDH

POST-SCREENING CONVERSATION QUESTIONS

1. It all started with a joke: “Why don’t we have a wedding? What border policeman would ever stop a bride to check her documents?”  How does the film serve as a political action in relation to critiquing European border control laws?

2. One of the film’s directors, Antonio Augugliaro describes the film as “a documentary and yet a political act, a real and yet fantastic story”.  How does the film succeed in humanising the refugee crisis through the portrayal of human narratives and live action documentary storytelling?

3. Which scene from the documentary do you remember the most and why?

4. The film accomplishes a symbolic parallel between the wedding as a rite of passage and crossing between borders. How does the wedding reinforce and symbolise the beginning of a ‘new life’ as experienced by displaced individuals?


RESOURCES

Al Jazeera Article

Open Society Foundations

Press Package 

FEATURES 2017

Check out this great video

QUEENS OF SYRIA

2014, 70mins

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.


AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

Winner of the Black Pearl Award for Best Director from the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, 2014 Special Mention from the UNHCR at the 3rd edition of the Human Rights Film Festival in Tunis 2014 (Human Screen Festival 2014)


POST-SCREENING CONVERSATION QUESTIONS

1. How does this theatre project build upon the classic Euripides play to tell a very contemporary story about refugee women displaced from Syria and living in Jordan?

2. What role does first person storytelling and testimony play?

3. How has the filmmaker observed/captured the deeply personal, often painful journeys taken by the women – both in their real lives and throughout the rehearsing of the play and workshop?

In comparison to mainstream media imagery of female refugees, our heroines exemplify resilience and bravery. 4. How does the female-led cast offer insights into women refugees’ stories of survival and agency that are often ignored in news media channels?


RESOURCES

Film Website

Moving Worlds Resource Page for QUEENS OF SYRIA

Queens of Syria, Tellbrak Films

Queens of Syria: How 50 women made award-winning film, BBC Arts

Queens of Syria: Exploring a modern retelling of Euripides’s The Trojan Women by female victims of the Syrian civil war, Independant

Queens of Syria review – the most urgent work on the London stage, The Guardian

Review of Queens of Syria, Learning Lab Editions

FEATURES 2017

SPECIAL FLIGHT

SPECIAL FLIGHT

2011, 100mins

SPECIAL FLIGHT is a dramatic account of the plight of undocumented foreigners at the Frambois detention center 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.


AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award and Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, 2012 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Special World Feature Jury Mention, 2012

AFI4 Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, Best Documentary, 2012

Swiss Film Prize,  Best Film Award, 2012

One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Prix Italia, Current Affairs, 2012

TV IRIS Award, Prix Europa, 2012

Student Jury Prize, 2012

Paris International Film Festival on Human Rights

Amnesty International Grand Prize, 2012

San Sebastián Human Rights Film Festival Ecumenical Jury Prize and Junior Jury Award, 2011 Locarno International Film Festival


POST-SCREENING CONVERSATION QUESTIONS

1. How does the language used by staff members of the detention centre resemble spaces of hospitality: “I wish you a pleasant stay.” What purpose does such language serve? What is the impact of such language choices on the residents and what are the potential dangers of using it?

2. What do you think about the relationship between detention staff and residents? Can there be a genuinely respectful relationship?

3. The word ‘home’ is frequently used in conversations between staff members and residents. What makes a country ‘home’ in your opinion?

4. “We just tried to find a better future here. Why? Because you came to Africa and destroyed everything, leaving wars behind. So we come here to seek a better life be- cause we’re human beings like you.” What do Abdoul’s words reveal in terms of the tension between refugees’ request for asylum and state responsibility?


RESOURCES

Documentary Website

Moving Worlds Resource Page for SPECIAL FLIGHT

Filmmaker interview, POV

In a Swiss Limbo, Sadly Bracing for Expulsion, New York Times

Climage

FEATURES 2017

THE WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST

THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST

2015, 99mins

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.


THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST begins with musicians on the run, reveals rare footage of the jihadists, captures life at refugee camps, follows perilous journeys home to battle scarred cities, and witnesses our two female characters perform at the first public concert in Timbuktu since the music ban. The stories of these artists are told without gloss – they are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspirational, and sometimes incredibly frustrating as we watch musicians make tough choices about their futures.


With a specially commissioned soundtrack from Mali’s most exciting artists, a score written by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, They Will Have To Kill Us First leaps headfirst into a tale of courage in the face of conflict.


AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

BFI London Film Festival (2015)

15)WOMEX Film Selection

SOUND+VISION (2015)

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (2015)

Oiff Official Selection (2015)

indieBo (2015)

hotDOCS (2015)

Frederick Film Festival (2015)

Durban International Film Festival

CPH:DOX (2015)

CIMM:FEST (2015)

RIDM (2015)


POST-SCREENING CONVERSATION QUESTIONS

1. How does the interweaving of different voices (narrator, news media presenters, musicians) enrich the storytelling form of this film and how does it impact our interpretation of such complex socio-political issues?

2. How does the film itself work as an advocacy tool? 

3. What is the role of music as a form of resistance against the banning of music? How is this supported visually? 

4. How is this documentary different to other traditional documentaries in terms of of its tone and music video-inspired aesthetics? Why do you think that is?


RESOURCES

Documentary Website

Moving Worlds Resource Page for THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST

Documentary press kit & resources

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile review – musicians v jihadists, The Guardian

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Tales of Musical Exile from Mali, Music Film Web article