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A WALK ON THE TIGHTROPE

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In the asylum procedure in Germany, applicants and case officers meet on only one single occasion – at the personal interview. A decision is then made about who stays and who has to leave

It is the culmination of every refugee story that is supposed to end with official asylum and resettlement in Germany: the personal interview with a case officer at a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The applicant and case officer meet on only one occasion. Asylum-seekers have to provide credible proof that they were persecuted in their home country. BAMF staff are responsible for deciding who stays and who leaves. They rely on the law, their 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 our borders. They have to find out what is true and what is false, and it is up to them to decide who is still allowed to stay in Germany for humanitarian reasons.

Feature Documentary / Current Affairs
Film by Sandra Budesheim and Sabine Zimmer
Length 90′ / 58′ HD
Co-Production HANFGARN & UFER with ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel and ARTE with the support of nordmedia, 2017
Original title Die Asylentscheider / Le destin des autres – Le demande d’asile en Allemangne