• Dokumentär
  • Annan
Kestin Übelacker
Mars

Synopsis

In the small town of Horndal, central Sweden, Furkan, an 11 years old Roma boy who arrived from Kosovo with his family 4 years ago, is faced with a medical mystery that has changed the life of his family. His two sisters, Ibadeta (17) and Djeneta (15), have fallen into a coma three years ago. They are not the only ones in Sweden who are victims of the «resignation syndrome» that affects asylum-seeking children, often following a threat of deportation. Djeneta is the first to fall into this state. The family, first arrives in Sweden in 2007 and is deported in 2010 returning to Kosovo. The children are harassed at school because they are Roma. One morning, two young people arrive in the garden of the house and assault Furkan, 5 years old. One of them tries to strangle him. The two sisters witness the scene and Djeneta, the youngest, then aged 11, collapses to the ground, unconscious. After this first incident, she gradually slips into an...

In the small town of Horndal, central Sweden, Furkan, an 11 years old Roma boy who

arrived from Kosovo with his family 4 years ago, is faced with a medical mystery that has

changed the life of his family. His two sisters, Ibadeta (17) and Djeneta (15), have fallen

into a coma three years ago. They are not the only ones in Sweden who are victims of the

«resignation syndrome» that affects asylum-seeking children, often following a threat of

deportation.

Djeneta is the first to fall into this state. The family, first arrives in Sweden in 2007 and is

deported in 2010 returning to Kosovo. The children are harassed at school because they

are Roma. One morning, two young people arrive in the garden of the house and assault

Furkan, 5 years old. One of them tries to strangle him. The two sisters witness the scene

and Djeneta, the youngest, then aged 11, collapses to the ground, unconscious. After this

first incident, she gradually slips into an apathy that becomes alarming medically. The

family finally manages to return to Sweden in 2014 so Djeneta can receive the medical

treatment she needs. But it is too late, the girl plunges into a state of «catatonic torpor».

Furkan, traumatized by these events, feels guilty about his sister’s condition. He often

repeats: «If this boy had not strangled me, my sister would not be in a coma.» In Sweden,

the family’s situation does not improve administratively. Their asylum application is

rejected for the third time. Ibadeta, then 13, who reads Swedish, is the one who translates

the letter to her parents. The shock of this news and the anxiety linked to the prospect of

a new return to Kosovo also leads her to no longer want to exist.

The two sisters have since been in a narrow room, head to head, their bodies plugged

into intimidating medical devices. Two lives in parentheses, that their relatives try to revive

by stories whispered at night and love. The enigmatic illness leaves no respite to the

family. Nurje and Muharrem, the parents, try to continue to live with dignity while

maintaining a semblance of normalcy, as they spend their days caring for their daughters.

Resulj, the older brother, focuses on his studies and his passion for football. But Furkan,

closer to his sisters, feels responsible and helpless when confronted by their condition.

His imagination becomes his way to escape ; in his mind, he is an astronaut who will go

live on Mars, away from all these problems. His new mission is to build a rocket to take his

sisters to Mars, the only place where they could wake up.

Swedish doctors who treat other children affected by this «syndrome of resignation», a

phenomenon peculiar to the country, of which several hundred refugee children are

victims, state that the two sisters can wake up only if the family receives asylum in

Sweden. Pending a new letter from the Migration Board, the parents continue to watch

over their daughters. Every half hour, they change the position of their teenage girls and

massage their limbs to support the blood circulation. They feed them with a protein

concentrated liquid through a nasogastric tube. Every day, they put them in their

wheelchairs to participate to family life, convinced that they are aware of their

environment and that by sharing moments of normalcy with them, they can help them

feel safe and want to come back to life. Furkan spends time in school and a lot of time in

nature building his rocket that will bring him to space. It is through his sensitive and

hopeful eyes that I wish to tell this story.

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