Review written by Niels Ruëll
Parweiz Sangari, Scott Manyo, Navid Sharifi… increasing numbers of communities are protesting the forced deportation of young asylum seekers that they have started considering one of their own. A person is a person. The documentary The Art of Becoming does not express an opinion about Belgian politics regarding asylum, a highly sensitive and complex issue. Instead, however, we are reminded in a magnificent way that it concerns people, in this case even children, with a unique story, their own voice, and the same dreams and expectations as you and me. Though procedures and statistics might be necessary, these things must never be forgotten. Three generous young people offer us an intimate view of their lives. And at a time when their future is hanging by a thread and they are under enormous pressure. In Istanbul, sixteen-year-old Fattah from Afghanistan works in a textiles workshop to make money for the great crossing to Europe. He dreams of being a doctor or office manager. At the end of his training, eighteen-year-old Guinean Mamadou got a job with a floor layer in Belgium right away. At the weekend he takes care of our football matches as a referee. It makes no difference. His deportation is imminent. Eleven-year-old Saleh from Syria smiles when he plays football, has water balloon fights, or sees Saint Nicholas at school. But eleven is too young to be separated from your parents.
The Art of Becoming goes straight to the heart, and straight to the heart of the matter. Director Catherine Vuylsteke has previously written a book about unaccompanied, asylum-seeking minors,Vroeger is een ander land (“Before is a different country”). But the documentary offers more than just a solid journalistic underpinning. We suspect the hand of director Hanne Phlypo in the many beautiful shots and the well-chosen poetry. This documentary is strongly recommended.
Online through : http://www.agendamagazine.be/en/blog/art-becoming
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