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Airports are prominent non-places.Fifteen years ago, Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal," premised on a hapless traveler forced to live in an airport, made airports' placelessness a commonplace.The decommissioned air terminal is the subject of the Berlin-based Brazilian director's prize-winning 2018 documentary "Central Airport THF".In 2015 THF was retooled as a temporary shelter, where migrants could camp out for up to six weeks while sorting out their residency status.The film's protagonist is 18-year-old Ibrahim al-Hussein, who grew up on a farm near Manbij, in the northeast of Aleppo province, near the Turkish border. Ibrahim's voice-over narration commences the film while the screen is still black, and his recollections and observations punctuate the film as it documents a year in the life of the airport community (June 2016-May 2017), by which point his status has changed.Unlike the current U.S. regime, there's no discussion of separating migrant children from their families.While following Ibrahim through his year at Tempelhof, the audience also meets several of his chums and acquaintances, as well as Qutaiba Nafea and Maria al-Ahmad -- Arab employees of the state's resettlement regime who are the minor characters of Ainouz's film.
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