Limbo is a waiting game, and as characters await their spot in the asylum claim queue in Scotland, audiences feel the angst alongside them. Luckily, the quick wit and humor of the script eases the agony of suspense.
Director and writer Ben Sharrock took his experience witnessing refugees in Syria and Algeria and transformed that into a humanizing feature-long take. Sharrock and producers Irune Gurtubai and Angus Lamont cast The Night Manager’s Amir El-Masry, Hanna’s Vikash Bhai, and A Brixton Tale’s Ola Orebiyi, and Enterprice’s Kwabena Ansah as migrants hoping for a new beginning in the UK. Kais Nashif, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Kenneth Collard also star in the film.
He places characters on a remote Scottish island, a fictional venue. Protagonist Omar (El-Masry) brings along his grandfather’s oud when he arrives from Syria. Playing all the time in his homeland, he instead keeps characters and viewers additionally anticipating his musical debut in Scotland.
To pass the time, Omar hangs out in a clique of fellow asylum applicants whom he lives with. Together, they talk sports and pop culture and get into shenanigans. For instance, as different cultures blend in one house, disagreement ensues between Team Ross and Team Rachel. The men also take assimilation classes where teachers hilariously demonstrate social cues and ways of life.
The outcome of Sharrock’s brainstorming garnered BAFTA nominations and won best film categories at the Cairo International Film Festival. Besides its jokes, Limbo caters towards artistic expression with poetic scenes and symbolism. The unspoken treasures of the film add an impactful creative direction worthy of acclaim.
Peep the trailer below and catch Limbo in theaters now.