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Emanuel's identity is unknown, and his life has been put on hold for eight years. He claims to be from Liberia, but the Norwegian authorities believes he's from Ghana. He can't be returned to a country he's not registered in.

Director:

Thomas Østbye

Writer:

Thomas Østbye
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Emanuel Agara Emanuel Agara ... Himself
Asgeir Føyen Asgeir Føyen ... Himself
Åge Gustad Åge Gustad ... Himself
Tor Magne Hovland Tor Magne Hovland ... Himself
Arild Humlen Arild Humlen ... Himself
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Storyline

Emanuel's identity is unknown, and his life has been put on hold for eight years. He came as a war refugee to Norway in 2003, claiming to be from Liberia, but the Norwegian authorities believes he's from Ghana, and has sent him back there twice. Ghana has sent him back, due to him not being Ganese. He can't be returned to a country he's not registered in, and is in limbo. The documentary tries to find who Emanuel really is, going behind the authorities, police, laws, contacting friends and neighbors - all gathering a picture of the main question: Who is Emanuel? Written by OJT

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Details

Country:

Norway | Georgia

Language:

Norwegian | French

Release Date:

May 2011 (Canada) See more »

Filming Locations:

Lillehammer, Norway

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
The story of a refugee refused of life and identity
30 December 2013 | by OJTSee all my reviews

This several times prize winning documentary is about a young Liberian man which, isn't believed that he is a Liberian refugee, even after several years in Norway. The Norwegian authorities thinks Emanuel is from Ghana or Nigeria. He was living in the bush in a clay hut, and fled his little village together with his mother when the devastating civil war came. They came to Ghana, where they lost his sister in the chaos, and his later mother died. He hid himself on a boat, and came as a refugee to Norway, only to find himself not wanted. The police has several times tried to transport him to Ghana, but they weren't willing to accept him. Ghanesian police finds the Nowegian police arrogant. They even tried to pay off Ghanesian police to accept him.

He can't read or write, and never went to school back in Liberia. In Noway he can't live, work or do anything meaningful.

The film is thoughtful put together, where we meet a narrator, believed to be the film maker himself, Emanuel, a police man and a state representative, as well as a friend he found in Norway. The narrative voice is kept in a naive setting, which I don't think helps the film, but slows is down. The film maker also uses a straight look into the camera, in a way to make us read who these persons are. This is kept as a ground idea the movie throughout. Abrupt cuttings also keep us from getting a real flow in the story, but again this is probably done to make us think about Emanuel's situation.

We also get a glimpse of a wandering theatrical play of Knut Hamsun's Hunger (Sult).

The story is however heartbreaking and the Norwegian authorities managing of his case is horrific. Emanuel is not the only one experiencing this kind of authorities in Norway. As a refugee he is treated like a lesser human being, with no rights, and is put under psychological pressure which is not far from torture.


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