A Walk On The Tightrope

A Walk On The Tightrope


Sandra Budesheim & Sabine Zimmer

It is the culmination of every refugee story that is supposed to end with official asylum and resettlement in Germany: personal interview with a case officer at a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The applicant and the case officer meet on a single occasion. Asylum-seekers have to provide credible proof of their persecution in the home country. BAMF staff are responsible for deciding who stays and who leaves. They rely on the law, common sense and their conscience. For the first time, BAMF decision-makers in the asylum proceedings offer us an insight into their day-to-day work and allow viewers to witness the asylum interviews which usually take place behind closed doors. They do their job in the eye of the storm of daily media coverage about mass migration and heated debates about the permeability of borders. They have to discern true from false reports and decide who is still allowed to stay in Germany for humanitarian reasons.

Cinematography: Marcus Winterbauer
Producer: Andrea Ufer
Julia Wiedwald