Due to technical difficulties this film is no longer screening with closed captions. Apologies for the inconvenience.
While millions of people seek refuge worldwide, asylum hearings that determine whether an individual is entitled to acquire legal citizenship in a new country are closed to the public. In order to shine a light on these life-altering meetings, four rejected asylum-seekers and several employees of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration re-enact scenes from real-life asylum hearings. In their re-telling, each asylum-seeker discloses their deeply personal reasons for fleeing their home country. Their vulnerability is palpable—a Cameroonian activist compares the hearing experience to being naked in a roomful of strangers—and in stark contrast with the clinical grey room in which the hearings take place. In a clever switch of power dynamics that only re-enactment could foster, the asylum-seekers begin to interrogate the interrogators in the same dehumanizing tone, forcing the government employees to confront their own arbitrary position of authority. Selina Crammond