The Wait

directed by Emil Langballe and Andrea Storm Henriksen, Denmark 2016, 59'

Rokhsar lives in Denmark with her parents and five siblings. She goes to school, is an excellent soccer player, smiles often and, at first glance, the only thing that distinguishes her from her friends is her darker complexion. The fact is, however, that she is living her life in the shadow of dramatic memories and growing uncertainty. At the age of 10, she escaped from Afghanistan with her parents and siblings the day after her oldest brother was murdered. Over the next four years, her family was refused asylum despite the fact that returning to Afghanistan means certain death for them. Since Rokhsar was the fastest to integrate and learn Danish, she is the one who maintains contact with officials and lawyers, she reads and explains to her family the letters announcing their deportation, she is the one that ensures that her parents are able to communicate with the authorities. When it turns out that the last resort for the family is to seek asylum for the good of the child, for Rokhsar herself, the responsibility and psychological burden start to be unbearable for her. Emil Langballe's documentary debut shows how lengthy procedures are devastating the lives of people who have fled their homeland in order to save their lives. The director manages to subtly show the complex world of the Afghan family and, at the same time, to talk about the life of a child who is the victim first of political conflict and then of the machinery of bureaucracy.

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