“Man is… only fully a human being when he plays”

Friedrich von Schiller

Selected for BDC Discoveries 2021 & Projektforum Filmuniversität Babelsberg

Supported by Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey

In collaboration with Filmuniversität Babelsberg

The film takes place in Antalya - the riviera of Turkey, where welcomes more than ten million tourists every year. It is also the only refugee-free city of Turkey, “privileged” because of its touristic function. Being officially refugee-free, Antalya turned to be a great stop for the undocumented immigrants. Of those immigrants, Afghans are estimated to constitute the largest group.

The documentary follows three undocumented Afghan immigrants: Abzal (21), Nabi (22), and Allahyar (17). The three live in illegal housing together with around twenty other men. They all earn their lives from collecting the garbage (paper, plastic, cans) during the whole day and sell them to the boss the next morning. They must wander around the city the whole day with their çekçeks – two wheeled transport vehicle and try to be as invisible as possible due to the fear of deportation. Abzal is a stammering man who wants to go to France and become an engineer. He has not graduated from high school, though. Nabi came to Turkey after spending long time in Iran. He gave all his savings to the smugglers to come to Turkey, but he is unhappy with the conditions in Turkey. Allahyar came to Antalya to be with his brother but in his third week, his brother was murdered by some people who stole his money. Allahyar left alone. He was not even able to take his brother’s grave to Afghanistan. His brother is buried in an orphanage cemetery.

Even though, the three have different lives and expectations, they have one special thing in common: cricket. Cricket, an unusual sport for Turkey, is the biggest passion of those undocumented immigrants. The cricket field becomes a piece of home where they feel at home and forget all their troubles. The film juxtaposes the daily-life images of those immigrants in an observational style with a cricket match accompanied by live commentary.