MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (MOMA) DOCUMENTARY FORTNIGHT
NORWEGIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURE'S HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD
CPH:DOX FESTIVAL, WINNER OF THE NORDIC:DOX AWARD
HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL
Østbye gives Emanuel control of his own story, and thereby his own destiny, in a one-of-a-kind video-selfie road movie. – Museum of Modern Art
The incredible migration story of Emanuel, an African refugee of disputed origin, is told in two successive documentaries by Norwegian artist Thomas Østbye.
Emanuel arrived in Norway in 2003 as a stowaway on a container ship. He arrived with no papers, claiming to be from Liberia and to have fled its civil war in the early 1990s to spend the next decade on the streets of Ghana. But Norwegian authorities suspect he is of Ghanaian origin, and have sent him to Ghana twice, only to have Emanuel rejected and returned to Norway. He is held for a year in a Norwegian detention center, where he is subject to harsh treatment, including being woken several times an hour at night by the guards. Outside, he is not permitted to work. For nearly ten years, it remains both illegal for him to stay in Norway and illegal for him to leave. As it explores these contradictions and draws a portrait of a man, Imagining Emanuel probes the nature of identity itself.
52 minutes, in English with English subtitles, 2011
OUT OF NORWAY
After the Norwegian Ministry of Culture's Human Rights Award was bestowed upon the previous film Imagining Emanuel, Emanuel uses the money to buy fake identity papers and smuggle himself Out of Norway and back to Liberia in order to start a new life. With a single handheld camcorder, Emanuel films his escape into Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and his eventual return to his home village in Grand Bassa, Liberia, where he hopes to finally build a family and a life. Throughout his journey, Emanuel offers his unique perspective on modern life. Out of Norway is a one-of-a-kind road movie about the great lengths a refugee must go to find his home.
43 minutes, in English with English subtitles, 2014
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