By Andreas Koefoed
AT HOME IN THE WORLD is a personal film, created from my wish to investigate what it means to be a refugee and a child in Denmark. That is, in a Denmark, where we hear a lot about the refugee children, but rarely about their actual story.
In the public debate, people on the run are often reduced into numbers or stereotypes. It is easy to forget that they are normal human beings, who happen to be in a very difficult situation. This is my reason for telling this story: I want to tell the story of the refugee children, who often face the same every day struggles, thoughts and emotions as any other child, except for the fact that they have experienced a life with various atrocities very close to home.
Since I started making documentaries 14 years ago, I have been interested in telling important stories with children in the main seat. Stories, where you see the world through the eyes and mind of the child.
I have previously made documentaries about a boy, who became a big brother, a boy whose mother had breast cancer and a boy, whose voice transitioned due to puberty, so he had to leave his beloved boys’ choir.
With AT HOME IN THE WORLD, I wanted to combine the children’s gaze with an important social story. Through my studies in sociology and anthropology, I have dealt with the matter of refugees various times, and I wanted to use this knowledge in a documentary.
My wish was to investigate and explore how children adapt to a new place as well as how they cope with an unclear future and a turbulent past. I wanted to explore how it feels to lose a home and have to find a new.
Throughout the year that I followed the children, I have been able to get very close to a group of them, who have all struggled finding their place and home in the world – I have been so lucky as to tell their story in a way, which has never been seen before.
My hope is that the film can provide a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee child in Denmark – just like I have discovered how important it is for the children to be able to attend a school in a stable and safe environment. Stability and safety are crucial, when a child needs to form a new home in the world.