Central Airport THF
Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport ceased operations in 2008, but reopened in 2015 as an emergency refugee camp. Tackling the European crisis in a brand-new way, director Karim Aïnouz (Madame Sata) covers a year of life at Tempelhof, capturing the day-to-day experiences and struggles of the residents and aid workers with rare intimacy and empathy. Though the documentary is deeply humanistic, Aïnouz is also alert to the remarkable topography and unique architecture of the airport and the irony of its status as a holding place for people who have nowhere to go. Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival.
“Karim Aïnouz achieves the perfect balance between people and locale in Central Airport THF, a rare observational documentary that recognizes the beauty of spatial forms without forgetting the individuals who inhabit those voids. Struck by the irony that Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport, a place of transit amplified by Nazi dreams of grandeur, is now used as a refugee center, the Berlin-based director combines his superb compositional eye with an empathetic glimpse of the lives of a few people living and working in the center.”—Jay Weissberg, Variety