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Ben Sharrock’s second feature Limbo is a funny and poignant cross-cultural satire, that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience. Limbo tells the story of Omar (played by rising star Amir El-Masry), a promising young musician who, separated from his Syrian family, is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request. Due to the plaster-cast on his arm, Omar cannot play his oud and instead wanders the epic landscapes searching for answers to a complex past and daunting future. He may be stuck, but he is not alone. In between brief conversations with his parents from a remote phone box and passing interactions with oddball locals who are afraid and confused by the new arrivals to the island, Omar and his new flatmates Farhad (Vikash Bhai), Wasef (Ola Orebiyi) and Abedi (Kwabena Ansah) attend outrageously misjudged ‘cultural awareness’ classes, hosted by eccentric locals Helga (Sidse Babett-Knudsen) and Boris (Kenneth Collard). They binge the ‘Friends’ boxset, debating the unanswerable question of whether Ross and Rachel were on a break, and Freddie Mercury-obsessed Farhad elects himself as Omar’s talent manager and tries to convince Omar to participate in the local open mic night. Then, just as a new flat mate arrives, winter draws in to reveal the fragility of the groups’ situation. Omar’s oud remains firmly locked in its case and his fractured relationship with his estranged brother who stayed in Syria weighs heavy on his conscience. Thousands of miles from home, Omar finds himself trapped by guilt, regret and the grief that he carries for the loss of his former identity. Yet, with nowhere to return to and nowhere to move onto, Omar can do nothing but wait for the delivery of a letter that will determine his future. Limbo deploys pitch perfect wit and crisp observation to shine a light on the hearts and lives of those at the centre of a crisis that most of us only experience through headlines.

Watch the trailer