The Invisibles (Die Unsichtbaren)

Benjamin Kahlmeyer
2014| 78 minutes | Germany
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

Europe is in the grip of an immigration crisis: people from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere are arriving in ever greater numbers as they flee war, oppression, and a lack of opportunity. Germany receives more asylum seekers than any other European country, but their welcome is less than warm. This timely and insightful film accompanies four migrants from varying backgrounds on their way through a temporary registration center in Eisenhüttenstadt—a surreal place on the outskirts of nowhere. Their daily existence of uneasy boredom in a transitional home provides rare insight into the black box of asylum law and into a particular moment in Europe. More universally, it reveals the bureaucratic mechanisms that stand in contrast to the hopes of people around the world trying to make a better life. 

Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut New York


Thresholds, My Perspective

"When it comes to this film, there are far more layers to the term ‘boundaries’ than I could ever realize when we were in the process of shooting it. Obviously, it was always meant to be a film dealing with geographical and political borders. It soon turned out to be a film negotiating the limitations of language and understanding. While the protagonists were confronted with these boundaries in an existential way, the filmmakers have been confronted artistically."

- Benjamin Kahlmeyer | Director, The Invisibles