fbpx Central Airport THF | Gene Siskel Film Center
22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

Central Airport THF

Zentralflughafen THF

2018, Karim Aïnouz, Germany, 98 min.

Show Times

  • Sat, Mar 9th 3:00pm
  • Thu, Mar 14th 8:30pm

"Countless documentaries have attempted to put a human face to the global refugee crisis, but few have felt as compassionate as CENTRAL AIRPORT THF."--Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

Built in the 1920s, Berlin's Tempelhof Airport witnessed much of Germany's tumultuous history before closing down in 2008. In 2015 it was reopened as a holding center for thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and other war-torn locales, who huddle in tiny hive-like cubicles within gigantic hangars, weeks stretching into years as they wait for their fates to be decided. Director Aïnouz, a Brazilian of Algerian descent now based in Berlin, concentrates on one of those expatriates, an 18-year Syrian named Ibrahim, but the film's emphasis is equally on the airport itself, a bustling "city within a city." Its vast spaces are captured in elegantly expressive widescreen compositions that bring out the eerie, nearly surreal spectacle of an airport where people don't go anywhere, where night and day arrive abruptly with a flickering of fluorescent lights, and where the erstwhile runways are thronged with picnickers, joggers, and bicyclists who frolic in plain sight of the stranded souls on the other side of the fence. In Arabic, German, and English with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. Courtesy of Luxbox. (MR)

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