The Invisibles
The Invisibles
The Invisibles
Item#: INV-1109
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Running Time: 78 minutes
Grades 12- Adult
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
A Film by Benjamin Kahlmeyer
With English Subtitles


"This timely and insightful film accompanies four migrants from varying backgrounds on their way through a temporary registration center — a surreal place on the outskirts of nowhere. Their daily existence of uneasy boredom in a transitional home provides rare insight into the black box of asylum law and into a particular moment in Europe. More universally, it reveals the bureaucratic mechanisms that stand in contrast to the hopes of people around the world trying to make a better life.”
– Margaret Mead Film Festival

"A first-hand account of the tried and tired process of granting asylum. Given no music, special effects, or voice-overs in the film, the viewer is allowed to feel the raw silence of reality as those who arrive at the center are processed and held until the verdict is made.”
– The Mass Media, University of Massachusetts Boston

“The audience learns a lot from his careful ethnographic portrait of four young men from the Middle East and Africa and of the German officials they report to. Coming from different countries and cultures with no linguistic skills they face a mostly sympathetic bureaucracy bound by rigid rules, which remain a mystery to the refugees.”
– FilmFestivals.com


Winner, Civil Award, Nonfiktionale, Germany


Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York
Max Ophüls Preis, Germany
Sicily Ambiente Film Festival, Italy
Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland
University of Massachusetts Film Series, Boston
Cinema Excentris, Canada
Lichter International Filmfest, Germany
Dokka Karlsruhe Germany
Dokfilmwoche FSK, Germany
Globale Hessen, Germany




All prices include DVD and limited Public Performance Rights
• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $89
• Colleges, Government, Business: $295
• Colleges (with DSL): $395

Europe is in the grip of an immigration crisis: people from Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere are arriving in ever greater numbers as they flee war, oppression, and a lack of opportunity. Germany receives more asylum seekers than any other European country.

The Invisibles presents the human face of the immigration crisis, following four migrants from Syria, Kenya and Cameroon as they wade through Germany's rigorous immigration process and await the final verdict on their applications for asylum.

At the initial registration center in Eisenhüttenstadt, the men bond with fellow asylum seekers and attempt to stave off boredom and growing anxiety about their future.

For all four, Germany is their only option. There is no “Plan B” should their applications be rejected. Some face life threatening circumstances if they are deported back to their home country. All are aware of how slim their chances, as Germany accepts only about 25% of asylum applicants.

Without narration, the camera lingers to convey the uneasy stasis their lives have now become during this long and uncertain transitional period. During their three month wait in Germany, they are transferred to other camps or centers. As one man puts it while surveying his new location, “Is this our home or our new cage?”