It only takes ten minutes to watch this brilliant short film, detailing the experiences of three men fleeing the Iraqi-Kurdistan conflict to find sanctuary in Britain. In a striking portrayal of the precarious lives of three young men, Only the Oppressed is an important reminder of how the UK’s asylum process is far from simple. In a poignant moment of clarity at the end of the film, surrounded by the pomp and circumstance of a ‘citizenship’ ceremony, one of the Kurdish men explains the final ironic hollowness of ‘citizenship’ (or ‘naturalisation’ in the words of the UKBA).
“They won’t give you permission to stay until you’ve gone mental. When we can’t be bothered with life anymore, then we’re granted permission to stay.”