Behind Words

Director: John Burgan, Germany 2005, 90 min.

Do wars really end when the fighting stops? From a bunker in Berlin, through former Yugoslavia, still-divided Cyprus, cities that change names, populations and countries without moving an inch: forced migration and ethnic cleansing has marked the 20th century like no other. In Europe alone, between 80 and 100 million were driven from their homes - or worse - in the last century. How to deal with all of this collective past? Historians quibble amongst themselves and politicians conduct a dialogue of the deaf. Behind Words encounters refugees and artists across Europe searching for the difficult way between memory and forgetting. The film is made by Network Migration in Europe and Hanfgarn & Ufer Film Production.


Director: Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium 2010, 95 min.

Based on actual events, Olivier Masset-Depasse's award-winning film vividly depicts the harsh reality for those detained in Belgium's detention centres.

In this world

Director: Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom 2002, 89 min.

This compelling film follows refugees Jamal and Enayatullah as they travel overland to London, passing through Iran, Turkey, Italy and France. Their fictitious journey is a distillation of the experiences of a multitude of real life asylum seekers and migrants - courageous and resourceful people seeking a better life but whose stories so often end in tragedy.

Jarmark Europa

Director: Minze Tummescheid, Germany 2004, 124 min., Multilingual with English subtitels

"Jarmark Europa" at Warsaw's Dziesieciolecia Stadium, is one of Eastern Europe's largest bazaars and a centre for small trade that doesn't appear on any tax declarations. The traders come from a variety of countries in the former Soviet Union. They transport their goods to Warsaw or other cities west of the ex- USSR in unmistakeable bags.

La forteresse (The fortress)

Director: Fernand Melgar, Switzerland 2008, 104 min.

A documentary about an asylum seekers' centre in the Swiss town of Vallorbe. The centre has its own life, which is divided into two factions - employees and inhabitants. Despite the difference between them, both groups often blend together in the daily rhythm of life at the centre. Through this documentary, we can for a moment become part of this place and try and see what it feels like to make decisions about other people's lives. Besides a number of other accolades, this film also won the prize for best documentary at the Locarno festival and an audience award at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence.

Rings of Fire

Director: Gwen Ong, United Kingdom 2007, 21 min.

A Cameroonian asylum seeker detained by the UK Home Office for imminent deportation is released and granted a three year stay in Northern Ireland as a result of a campaign that gained widespread support from the Northern Irish public and politicians like Martin McGuinness

Sahara Chronicle

Director: Ursula Biemann, Switzerland 2006/2007, 50 min., in French with English subtitles

Five selected chapters of a video project on migration structures from West Africa to Europe via the Maghreb. In a non-linear narrative style the project shows not only the conditions of transport but also the infrastructure of security control, and the retention camps along the way. Interviews imply backgrounds of the emergence and development of these structures.


Director: Lovejit K Dhaliwal, United Kingdom 2008, 3 min.

Sanctuary is the true story of one woman, Marjorie, who tries to seek asylum in the UK. Speaking of her experiences in her own words, this film illustrates the journey she goes through - her inward journey as she confronts the affects of her torture and her outward journey as she struggles for asylum.

Welcome Europa

Director : Bruno Ulmer, France 2006, 90 min.

A haunting documentary that depicts the portrait of ten young immigrants, accompanied by Bruno Ulmer throughout several months in different European countries. Arriving from Romania, Morocco, Turkey, they were pushed by the hope for a better life. But in longed for Europe they find themselves struggling for bare survival, without documents and working permits, discovering soon that no place is left for illusions. While portraying the intimate, daily struggle to conserve their dignity in a merciless environment, the film reflects the bitter outgrowths of the Schengen agreement and the contradictions of wealthy Europe.