16 March 2022
Director: Ben Sharrock
Ben Sharrock’s deadpan comedy-drama brings a completely fresh perspective to the life of a migrant. On Scotland’s remote Uist Islands, surrounded by gale-force winds and stormy seas, gifted musician Omar (Amir El-Masry) and his fellow Syrian asylum seekers endure puzzling cultural-awareness lessons from an oddball pair of locals. Awaiting news of their refugee status claims, they spend much of their time queuing to call loved ones on the island’s only payphone. Carrying his grandfather’s oud with him and wandering the desolate, thistly landscape, Omar fears for his brother who is still fighting in Syria and questions his own decision to leave. Drawing on stories from Sharrock’s friends in Damascus, Limbo imbues its characters, a group of lost souls awaiting both visas and different, more inner types of release, with dignity and individuality. Recalling the quiet, occasionally surreal comedic absurdism of the films of Palestinian actor-director Elia Suleiman and Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, it’s a sincere and immensely intelligent film about the internal and external reckonings forced upon refugees.
BAFTA Awards 2021 Nominee Outstanding British Film of the Year