Review of Nowhere Home (2012)

Moving picture, 93 minutes

Seen in 2017.

Solitary child refugees to Norway and the 2011 terrorist attacks there.

Originally titled “De andre” meaning “The others” or, in phenomenological jargon, “The Others”.

The personal portraits are good and valuable, in particular the choice to highlight Goli from Kurdistan and argue—in court—for his right to stay in Norway regardless of his criminality. The weakness of the film is the lack of all other content, and especially the unwillingness to engage with the differing points of view that form both context and impetus. Instead, lengthy quotes are pulled from the Declaration of the Rights of the Child as if its articles were moral requirements, and as if ethics were the sole source of reasons for border porosity.

The filmmaker allows the youths to repeat their questions about why they are not allowed to stay. She could, but does not, provide the readily available (albeit poor) answers. Fremskrittspartiet is not mentioned. No comparative statistics for the reception of refugees (e.g. 10 times higher in neighbouring Sweden) are presented. There is no economic analysis, with the implication that there shouldn’t be.

moving picture non-fiction