The Mind Game is an intimate documentary about the psychological pressure that unaccompanied minor refugees have to deal with, largely filmed from a first-hand perspective.
When he was just 15, Sajid Khan Nasiri fled Afghanistan alone. After a two-year journey filled with danger and hardships – which he minutely documented on his phone camera – he arrives in Belgium to seek asylum. There, a whole new struggle begins. Intimate sequel to the prize-winning Shadow Game.
They call it ‘the game’: the life-threatening journey that many unaccompanied minors undertake seeking protection in Western Europe. For Sajid Khan Nasiri, the game started at 14 after the Taliban killed his father. Via Iran and Turkey to Eastern Europe he progressed ever closer to his destination, hunted down by violent police and hostile civilians. In clips recorded with his telephone camera, and in messages to filmmakers Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel, he keeps track of his progress.
He is sure that when he arrives, he’ll be able to relax, go to school and start a new life. But once in Belgium a new game begins: the mind game. Being a child, how do you deal with the enormous mental pressure of the journey, with distrustful authorities, and disturbing messages from the home front? An intimate documentary about the psychological pressure young refugees face.
The Mind Game premiered at Movies that Matter in March 2023. In May the film will go on tour in the Netherlands. For the full list look here or check out our socials.