In Between (Film Thoughts: Limbo)

A comedy about Syrian refugees en route to London? Why not? Scottish director Ben Sharrock’s ‘Limbo’ crafts a film with very dry comedy and aching melancholy. In it, a young man, Omar (Amir El-Masry) is part of a group trapped in the Scottish isles. It’s sort of a halfway home for refugees. In there, they are in ‘limbo.’ Most of them have escaped the Syrian war, and is in the process of getting acclimated before plunging into their new homes (they are also waiting for their paperwork to be processed) Call it the Island created by red tape. Omar is an accomplished musician in Syria, and he is carrying with him his grandfather’s oud, which is a combination tambourine and guitar. Omar’s parents are in Istanbul, and his brother is left in Syria fighting the war. He is not only physically in limbo, he is emotionally hanging as well – a part of him wants to stay home and fight, another wants to be with his family, and another wants to move on in the world. Sharrok balances the comedy and absurdity and drama pretty well – you feel the longing in all their meanings here. Masry is great, able to show sadness in just his eyes, You find yourself smiling but also feeling his ache.

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