The migrant camp of Las Raíces, Tenerife, houses 1,600 people. Most of them have been detained for months waiting for an asylum appointment that never seems to come. Some of migrants, driven by uncertainty about their future and the lack of dignified conditions, are building an alternative camp as a protest, and begin to organise. Meanwhile, others deal with family pressure and the frustration of waiting through their faith. We witness the every day lives of those who have begun their journey to a better life only to find themselves trapped between two worlds in a bureaucratic nightmare.
Inshallah: Hope in Exile is the plea of those who have been forced to leave their homes and, after risking their lives at sea, have been detained and held by the same nations that plundered their countries’ wealth. But above all, inshallah is the most used expression by the migrants in this camp. Hopefully.
Guantánamo Bay, and then what? After 13 years, a 38-year-old Palestinian named Muhammad is released from the notorious detention camp, where he was starved, tortured and humiliated. He gets the chance to start a new life in Uruguay, where he’ll get a home and welfare money. He has two years, then he’ll be on his own.
We follow Muhammad, a calm and very devout man, as he goes about his daily life, starting with his arrival in his new homeland and continuing until the end of the two years. He studies Spanish, learns to drive, prays, takes courses, calls his mother, and together with his Uruguayan wife looks for clothes for the baby they’re expecting. He’s resigned as he grapples with the local bureaucracy, but his eyes speak volumes.
At well-timed moments, we hear him talking in voice-over about his traumatic experiences in Guantánamo. Most of all, we see him looking for work, but who will take him on?
Freedom Is a Big Word shows how goodwill can descend into a sense of impotence in this confrontation with reality.