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A walk on the tightrope

Auf dünnem Eis  -  Die Asylentscheider


Directors: Sandra Budesheim & Sabine Zimmer

Cinematographer: Marcus Winterbauer,

Martin Langner, Marcus Lenz, Vita Spiess, Börres Weiffenbach

Editor: Julia Wiedwald

Sound: Ulla Kösterke, Moritz Springer, Oliver Stahn

Music: Christoph Schauer

Production: Andrea Ufer/Hanfgarn & Ufer Filmproduktion

Commissioning editors: 

Kathrin Brinkmann (ZDF/ARTE THEMA)

Diana Kraus (ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel)

Film funding: Normdedia


Premiere: DOK.fest Munich - 05 / 2017

Filmkunst Fest MV, Schwerin – 05/2017

International Filmfestival Emden Norderney – 06/2017

It is the preliminary climax of every story that hopes to end with asylum in Germany: the hearing conducted by a decider of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Applicant and decider sit opposite one another just this once. One chance for those asking for asylum to make a convincing case that they are being persecuted back at home. The outcome determines whether they have a chance at a new life in Germany, or have to return to war, persecution or hopeless poverty. To make this decision, BAMF employees rely on the law, their own sense and the discretion afforded them.


Without losing sight of the point of view of the asylum seekers our documentary is focusing on the every day professional life of three decision-makers: How do they deal with their responsibility? What is their motivation? What does justice mean to them? How do they consider the law and finally decide in each specific case? Do their decisions reach their personal barriers of morality?

A film where big politics are broken down into individual cases; about constraints, thoughtfulness and morals and the impossible task of always doing the right thing.

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