By Mohamed JABALY


Documentary - Development 2019

This film is about a group of six young Arab asylum seekers in Tromso, northern Norway. They live together in a shelter for asylum seekers, on the brink of a new life. They have sacrificed everything they have to reach this point, challenging reality and risking their life.

    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Mohamed JABALY
    • Producer(s)
    • Christine CYNN (Ice-9)
    • Synopsis
    • Mohamed Jabaly, the young Palestinian filmmaker from Gaza who made the internationally acclaimed film ‘Ambulance’, tells the inside story of what it feels like to be an Arab youth in a cold dark world.
      Stateless is an intimate portrait of Khader Zaurob, a young man from Gaza, and a group of young Arab asylum seekers in Norway from Syrian, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon. Through the fog of war, in defiance of reason, these men have arrived in a small arctic city, an island amid islands. Six young men, under 25, share a house in Tromsø, northern Norway, one step away from the starting new lives in a new country, away from war. They have sacrificed everything to reach this point, and risked their lives to arrive in Europe. They have left the world they knew, a world in which they belonged, for a ‘dream’ of Europe gone wrong. The dream is liberty, opportunity, and peace. The reality is Kafka-esque bureaucracy, months and years of waiting with papers in hand. The reality is xenophobia and bigotry, a dream-turned-nightmare that rejects them legally and socially. Anti-immigration rhetoric demonises them for draining resources, but all of these men and thousands like them are denied work permits.
      Khader is a 23-year-old Palestinian young man from Gaza City; he left came out of Gaza for medical treatment in suffering from an injury to treatment in Egypt at the age of 18. Jabaly first got to know Khader as a friend, and as they became closer, Khader became increasingly interested in Jabaly’s filmmaking, and the power of the camera to capture life and tell a story. Khader’s story will be told through intimate reflections shared with the filmmaker and observational footage of his daily life as the leader of this makeshift ‘family’ of refugees. Jabaly’s patient observational lens, captures the men ashey share their desires and hardships, their trauma and joy, forging a new family for themselves. Like all young people, they have great hopes for life.. The chaos and destruction in their home countries follow them like shadows as they learn about the real Europe, with all bridges burnt. Coming from diverse cultures, their creativity and customs interact in a spontaneous, unorganised way. The house in Tromsø is a point of convergence between them that makes them travel with their stories to their Arab countries through their dialogue and stories.