Ever wished you could see what an asylum application interview is really like? A Walk on the Tightrope is an intense documentary that takes you inside the German asylum system. For the first time immigration decision makers in the asylum proceedings allowed a camera to film their day-to-day work and the asylum interviews which usually take place behind closed doors.
It is the culmination of every refugee story that is supposed to end with official asylum and resettlement in Germany: the personal interview with a case officer at a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The applicant and case officer meet on only one occasion. Asylum-seekers have to provide credible proof that they were persecuted in their home country. BAMF staff are responsible for deciding who stays and who leaves.
The film explores the moral tightrope that decision makers must walk as they decide if an individual’s story is truthful and if it justifies international protection. These decisions are not easy, clear, or clean, and this documentary shows this through the perspectives of the asylum seekers, decision makers, and lawyers throughout this process. You will be led to question your definitions of persecution, truth, fear, asylum, and even the nature of compassion.
The film is followed by a discussion. Speakers will be announced here shortly.
Watch the trailer here:
About this program
This film is screened as part of the Global Migration Film Festival, an initiative of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time.