A film about the people who are part of the conflict about deportation: prisoners in the deportation centers, security officers of the deportation center Rottenburg, activists from an anti-deportation group and police officers, whose job it is to deport people, every day.
A prison wall runs through the small Swabian town of Rottenburg. Behind it lay a prison complex for 700 inmates. A plastic container, surrounded by a high barbed wire fence, stands in the courtyard: the deportation center Rottenburg. It is a prison within the prison.
The barred windows hide not criminals, but 45 men, most of whom have never committed a crime. The only ones imprisoned here are illegal immigrants and rejected asylum seekers, who failed to leave Germany within the appointed time. The prisoners are charged with 70 Euros for every day they spend in the container. Imprisonment may last up to 18 months, depending on how quickly the deportation is organized.
The documentary “The Unwanted” accompanies six prisoners of the deportation center during the last weeks prior to deportation, one of them being the young Turk Sedat, who came to Germany to marry his girlfriend. Sedat was taken into custody only a few days after he entered the country, on the grounds that he did not have a valid visa. Until his deportation in no more than three months he must spend 22 hours a day in a cell, only 13 square meters in size. Sedat combats the depression of being locked up with singing and writing poems for his girlfriend. He hasn’t given up hope just yet. If he and his girlfriend can manage to get married within the next few weeks, the deportation will be cancelled.
Kemal, a Kurdish prisoner, is willing to take extreme measures to prevent his return to Turkey. On the day of his planned deportation he uses a razor blade to inflict bleeding wounds upon himself. While Sedat attempts to leave the prison by organizing his wedding, Kemal initiates a protest movement. He and his inmates threaten to light the cells on fire to prevent their deportation.
Using intense imagery the film tells of moments between hope and fear. Without resorting to black-and-white-thinking the author Sarah Moll follows the destinies of these young immigrants, whose dreams have no chance of coming true. The voices of those responsible for the day to day deportation are also heard.
Documentary by Sarah Moll
Germany 2005, 60 min, DVCam
INDI FILM, Film University Baden Württemberg and SWR
MFG regional fund Baden-Württemberg
Festivals and Awards:
DOK Leipzig 2005
Film Festival Turkey/Germany 2006 (Öngören Award)
Prix Europa 2006
Sao Paulo International Film Festival 2006
Globe Film Festival Berlin 2006