Chechen refugee children Oskar and Lili have been living in Austria with their mother for six years. This should now finally come to an end. But when the police came to carry out the deportation notice, the mother cut her wrists in desperation. She survived — and ends up in psychiatry for the time being.
The children are then housed separately from each other. Eight-year-old Oscar comes to two teachers who are already overwhelmed with the care of their offspring and his grandmother, who has Parkinson’s disease. 13-year-old Lily finds shelter with a very intelligent single woman.
The story, freely told based on Monica Helfer’s novel “Oscar and Lily,” might at first suggest a social scene full of dread. But director and screenwriter Arash T. Instead, he takes the view of estranged siblings who find ways and means to maintain secret contact with one another.
Optimistic brother, pessimistic sister
Above all, Oscar’s perspective, who approaches reality with childish optimism and naivety, while his sister looks the most pessimistic in the world.
So the humor creeps into the movie over and over again. For example, when Oscar makes an eating device for his shivering grandmother or secretly catches his vegetarian surrogate mother eating a meat snack. And sometimes it’s hard to see exactly where the boundaries between reality and imagination, dream and memory go. But Riahi’s sometimes poetic, imaginative tone never seems out of place. Especially since the Iranian-born filmmaker with his own immigration experiences does not completely lose sight of the harsh reality of refugee children.
“We’ll stay a little longer,” Directed by: Arash T. Riahi, Mate Leopold Balois, Rosa Zand, 102 min, FSK 6
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