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Asylum ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB520292
Producer:  National Film Board of Canada
Producers:  David Wilson, Adam Symansky, Don Haig, Sally Bochner
Directors:  Garry Beitel
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal)
Subject:  Canadian Politics, Documentary, Global Studies, Social Issues, Social Studies, Violence, World History
Language:  English
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  1998
Running Time:  78m 12s
Closed Captions:  Yes


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Asylum is the first feature documentary to take us inside the Canadian refugee process. It follows three people from their arrival in Canada to the final decision of the Refugee Board, and beyond.

Tatiana Linco claims to have been persecuted in Kazakhstan because she is Russian. Marnush Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi human rights activist who fled when his life was threatened by the police. Cristian Ghitescu came to Canada as a stowaway; he says he faces imprisonment for speaking out against the Romanian govermnent.

Filmmaker Garry Beitel accompanies all three as they adapt to a new country, find a place within their respective communities, and deal with lawyers and officials. In an unprecedented move, the Refugee Board allows cameras into the all-important hearings which determine the status of claimants.

As we follow Tatiana, Marnush and Cristian, we also begin to question the certainty of their claims. Who is telling the truth? Who is really a refugee? And how do we decide?

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