Central Airport THF

a film by Karim Aïnouz

Central Airport THF

Germany | France, Brazil | 2018 | 97:00 min

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Berlin's historic defunct Tempelhof Airport remains a place of arrivals and departures. Today its massive hangars are used as Germany's largest emergency shelter for asylum seekers, like 18-year-old Syrian refugee Ibrahim. As Ibrahim adjusts to his transitory daily life of social services interviews, German lessons and medical exams, he tries to cope with homesickness and the anxiety of whether or not he will gain residency or be deported. (LUXBOX)

A documentary about Berlin‘s former airport Tempelhof, opened in 1923 as one of the world‘s biggest building complexes in the 3rd Reich. Since then more than 30 million arrivals and departures have been counted. It was closed 10 years ago. But up until now it remains a place of departures an arrivals.
A film about those Berliners who come here to escape from their daily lives and those refugees who came here to finally arrive somewhere. (LupaFilm)
68th Berlinale PANORAMAdocuments, Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize
40th CINEMA DU RÉEL - Compétition Internationale, Paris
33rd DOK.fest Munich
25th Sheffield Dok|Fest - Doc|Think
Cast and Crew
  • Director Karim Aïnouz
  • Producer Felix von Boehm
  • Director of Photography Juan Sarmiento G.
  • Editor Felix von Boehm
  • Sound Florian Beck
  • Sound Design Moritz Unger
  • Score Benedikt Schiefer
Film Location
Tempelhof Airport in Berlin is Europe’s largest heritage building. It became a symbol of both National Socialist self-aggrandisement as well as of freedom during the airlift of 1948/49. Since autumn 2015 several hangars have been providing temporary shelter for refugees. Like the other 2,000 people here who have fled their homeland, Ibrahim from Syria and Qutaiba from Iraq dream of being able to make a new start. Full of hope, they work with translators, doctors, language teachers and job agents to prepare for life in their new German home. The lack of private space and communication and administrative barriers are some of the challenges they face while, on the nearby recreation area of Tempelhofer Feld, Berliners and tourists escape their daily routine. Chaos and harmony: two very different worlds in one place.
Karim Aïnouz spent a year following these men in search of a place they can call home. The film’s sensitive and well-composed images capture their lives that are shaped by uncertainty, stress and anguish, but also jollity and aspirations. The building’s architecture and the changing seasons add a surreal dimension. A portrait of a city within a city that is also a snapshot of Europe caught between utopia and crisis.
Source: www.berlinale.de/en/programm/b...
Original Languages




Production Company
Keithstr. 5, 10787 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 960666931

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