2015 became the year when the refugee crisis moved away from the TV screen and left a mark on many Europeans. We woke up to the reality and became eyewitnesses to the struggle of thousands of refugees against the Mediterranean sea. This year, CPH:DOX sets the focus on the human nuances behind the refugee crisis in the series Borderline.

Four days asylum theme
In addition to regular film screenings, CPH:DOX presents special screenings of asylum related films during the festival. In collaboration with Eventministeriet, CPH:DOX takes over ‘Lille Scene’ in Skuespilhuset. Each evening we will set the focus on asylum and refugee films followed by a discussion and a Q&A with filmmakers and the film’s subjects among others.

‘Those Who Feel the Fire Burning’ will be screened the first night – a dark, hallucinatory and extraordinary film which dares to illustrate the desperate situation on the outskirts of Europe in a poetic way that leaves a strong impression. Christian Lollikes ‘We Are Not Real’-dolls come for a visit after the film.

Danish documentaries
There are also Danish documentaries on the programme. NORDIC:DOX-nominated ‘A Home in the World’ by Andreas Koefoed will be screened on November 11. It is a nice story about Magomed, a thoughtful 10-year-old boy from Chechnya, who has just arrived in Denmark with his family to seek asylum. His father has been threatened and tortured by the Russians, and now the small family hope to get a permission to stay in Denmark. There will be held a Q&A with the director and a few of the film’s subjects after the screening, where you will hear about how they are doing now.

Vladimir Tomic’s ‘Flotel Europa’ will be screened the next day. A film, which through grainy VHS footage recorded by Tomic and his little family in 90s, gives an unique and deeply personal insight into everyday life on the big container ship in Christianshavn, where thousands of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina lived while they waited for asylum. After the film there will be a Q&A with director Vladimir Tomic and former interior minister Birte Weiss.

The human nuances behind war-torn Syria
‘A Syrian Love Story’ will be the last screening at Skuespilhuset and takes place on November 13. The film is an intimate and unusually poignant love story from the war, about Armer and Raghda who met when they were both imprisoned for opposing Assad. They love each other and their country above everything else, but the war is tearing both apart. After the screening DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture hosts a talk about trauma in the family as a result of torture and life behind bars.

‘Haunted’ is another film about the terrible situation unfolding in Syria, which will also be screened during CPH:DOX. What does it mean to lose one’s home? The Syrian director Liwaa Yazji examines this question in a gripping but radically unsentimental way, in a film dedicated to individual voices. It is also the young directors Zach Ingrasci’s and Chris Temples’ vision to connect the Syrian refugees closer to the rest of the world with the film ‘Salam Neighbor’. How is it to live in a refugee camp with 80.000 people? That is the question at hand when they as the first foreigners are allowed to move into the refugee camp Za’atari in Jordan. A poignant and sympathetic project that shows the human nuances behind media’s one-sided coverage of life as a refugee.

One thing is to cross the Mediterranean alive. Something else completely is to be allowed to stay. These issues are addressed in the political ‘The Dream of Europe’, the eerily Kafka adaptation ‘The Great Wall’ and last but not least, ‘Lampedusa in Winter’. ‘Lampedusa in Winter’ gives us a strong and honest picture of the crisis on an Italian island, where we follow the inhabitant’s internal conflicts and discussions, who involuntarily are faced with regulations and laws on one side and humanity on the other.

In a completely different, and somewhat warmer, sphere we find ‘Nice People’ which takes place in the small Swedish town Borlänge. We meet entrepreneur Patrik with his slick hair and sunglasses whose vision it is to gather a group of Somalis to participate in the Bandy World Championship in Siberia. The film has a serious political agenda, but is wrapped in a feel-good documentary comedy.

Where and when?

Asylum Theme Vol. 1.
Asylum Theme Vol. 2.
Asylum Theme Vol. 3.
Asylum Theme Vol. 4.