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Limbo (2020)Limbo (2020)

Limbo (2020)

A darkly funny drama about a Syrian refugee confronted with isolation in the Scottish countryside

Comedy, Drama

7.9

movie

United Kingdom, United States

Arabic, English

Character-driven, Funny, Lighthearted

2020

Ben Sharrock

Amir El-Masry, Cameron Fulton, Grace Chilton

104 min

Synopsis

An offbeat observation of refugees waiting to be granted asylum on a fictional remote Scottish island. It focuses on Omar, a young Syrian musician who is burdened by the weight of his grandfather’s oud, which he has carried all the way from his homeland.

Our Take

7.9
Bilal Zouheir

This offbeat drama is about a Syrian refugee who gets sent to a remote island in northern Scotland. “There was a better signal in the middle of the Mediterranean,” another refugee tells him when he arrives. Omar is as the title suggests stuck: until his asylum request is processed he can’t work or continue his journey onwards. His situation is frustrating and difficult, but it’s also full of absurdities, as Omar is stuck around some very weird people.

Limbo perfectly portrays the duality between sad and nonsensical in the refugee experience. In the entrance to the isolated and rundown facility that houses Omar, a handmade sign said “refugees welcome”. The next day a “not” is added between “refugees” and “welcome”, in the exact same paint. 

If you like Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s work, this has a similar brand of dark humor to his also refugee-themed 2017 drama The Other Side of Hope.

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