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Delightful Docs

The Hearing

The Hearing

Four asylum seekers reenact their conversations with the authorities in a role-playing game that reverses the roles. What happens when your future depends on your ability to tell your own life story in a convincing way? In an ordinary and grey office like any other, four people are waiting to be called in for a hearing. The bureaucratic setting is closer to a theatre stage, however, for in ‘The Hearing’ the participants re-enact their own real-life conversations with the government officials who will assess their case. A Nigerian woman, a man from Cameroon, a transgender woman from Sri Lanka, and a young Afghan man – all four are in the same situation with everything at stake. What happens when your future depends on your ability to tell your own life story in a convincing and compelling way? The tension between reality and staging, between role-playing and reality, does not make their life stories any less moving or relevant. In a simple but brilliant move, however, debut director Lisa Gerig reverses both the roles and the balance of power. The result is a (thought)provoking film of great dignity that uses the performative interventions not as a conceptual gesture, but to give a form to four individuals’ subjective experience of a system that is alien to most.

Lisa Gerig

Lisa Gerig (*1990) studied film in Zurich and Geneva, majoring in editing. Her thesis film ZAUNGESPRÄCHE is a radically subjective look at the situation of people held in Zurich’s deportation detention center. Since graduating from the Zurich University of the Arts in 2015, she has been working as a freelance filmmaker.THE HEARING is her first feature-length documentary.

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