Central Airport THF

Central Airport THF © Central Airport THF
Streaming for free!

Documentary, 2018, 100 min, digital
Original title: Zentralflughafen THF
Language: English, Arabic, German, and Russian with English subtitles
Director: Karim Aïnouz

This impeccably photographed documentary chronicles a year in the lives of asylum seekers in Berlin’s historic Tempelhof, a former airport expanded by the Nazi government as a symbol of Hitler’s Germania. The irony of the situation is not lost on Aïnouz or his subjects. Ibrahim, an 18-year-old from Syria, is studying German and waiting for his status to change from the uncertain “protected” category to the more secure “refugee.” Qutaiba, a 35-year-old physiotherapist from Iraq who was forced to flee before completing medical school, is volunteering at the clinic as a translator. The airport has become a city within a city, with box homes, spaces for the provision of healthcare, a barbershop, table tennis, and even a modest Christmas market. The men and women who work in the shelter try to accord some dignity to the thousands of people in limbo there. Central Airport THF is a moving portrait of displaced people in transition, and its focus on the positive implies that Germany might be one of the few European countries generous enough to welcome them to a new home.

Price: Free
Availability: US only