Questions of home and identity in Global Family

A family spread out all over the world after the Somalian Civil War has forced them out of their homeland is the focus of the documentary Global Family.

A central protagonist of the film is Yasmin, who has lived in Germany since the age of three.

Shaash, Yasmin’s father, was apparently the most famous man in Somalia, a well-known footballer who could have been the country’s sports minister today, if he didn’t have to flee the war-torn country three decades ago.

At the time, he went in a different direction than his brothers and his mother.

When 88-year-old Imra, Yasmin’s grandmother, is no longer able to live in exile in Ethiopia, her family is left to find a new home for her. A transnational search for a new place to call home begins, and Yasmin and Shaash, neither of whom has seen Imra in 30 years, set off for Addis Ababa to bring the aging woman to her new home.

Yasmin’s young children had never been to Africa before the trip and are shocked by the differences in living conditions

Identity and home

Four generations of this refugee family are in the spotlight in this German production that won the best documentary film award at the Max Ophüls Film Festival. 

Read more: Young directors vie for Max Ophüls Prize with films on freedom, migration and women

As they struggle to find a quick solution to Imra’s situation, family members grapple with the questions that many people who have been forced to flee conflict are confronted with. Questions about identity. About what constitutes home. And Yasmin’s own children, who have never lived in Africa, are confronted with the differences between their home in Germany and their grandmother’s home in Ethiopia.

The transnational drama offers perspective on the issues that many who have had to take flight face – issues in which your desire to stay together as a family is outmatched by the resources you have available.

It opens in Germany on June 28, 2018.


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