Limbo at Perth Festival

Amir El-Masry (as Omar)
Photo Credit: Limbo

On a cool summer’s evening, my friend and I headed to UWA Somerville to watch a Perth Festival 2022 movie.

It was the first event we were attending where we had to show our proof of vaccination, but there was only a short queue which moved quickly as we checked in. Thumbs up to the staff at Perth Festival for the smooth process.

The movie for the evening was Limbo – which I had marked as one to watch.

The setting is a remote Scottish Island – the location for a group of male refugees from various countries who are seeking asylum, the main character of which is Omar from Syria.

On regular phone calls out of a phone booth in the middle of the beautiful and rugged landscape, Omar tells his family back home that hopefully he will know in a matter of months whether his application has been successful.

A passionate musician - his signature mark is an instrument called an oud (sort of like a guitar) that he carries around with him everywhere in its big case.

Sadness permeates every corner of the refugees’ being – as we watch the individual asylum seekers battle their conditions – navigating the application process, tolerating the conditions in which they live, dealing with the locals, enduring the long wait, and worst of all, the protracted uncertainty – which all contribute to their mental decline.

It is a sad tale and Director Ben Sharrock has hit the notes with finely tuned precision in portraying the brutal reality of the asylum seekers plight.

Watching the movie, you cannot but feel deeply for Omar and his fellow men, some of whose lives end in tragic and disturbing circumstances.

The movie was comedic in a sad way – with some of the funniest moments exposed during the cultural awareness classes.

The friendship shown to Omar by his room mate Farhad (acted by Vikash Bhai) was touching, especially during Omar’s lowest moments where Farhad tried to lift his spirits with his playfulness as well as a heartfelt r u ok moment.

Laugh out loud, and sad at the same time, Sharrock hits the marks with poignancy on a serious and tragic humanitarian issue about the asylum seeker process that occurs in countries around the globe.

Limbo is showing under the beautiful pines at UWA Somerville till this Sunday 23 January.

Don’t forget the Charlie’s Pizza – by the way, I love your new ordering system.

The mushroom pizza always trumps!

Another great night out in our lucky city of Perth.

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