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Limbo 

click to enlarge WHAT IN THE OUD? Promising young Syrian musician Omar (Amir El-Masry, right) finds himself stuck on a Scottish island as he awaits a ruling on his asylum request, in Limbo, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CARAVAN CINEMA
  • Photo Courtesy Of Caravan Cinema
  • WHAT IN THE OUD? Promising young Syrian musician Omar (Amir El-Masry, right) finds himself stuck on a Scottish island as he awaits a ruling on his asylum request, in Limbo, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre.

What's it rated? R

When? 2020

Where's it showing? The Palm Theatre

Writer-director Ben Sharrock (Pikadero) helms this story about Omar (Amir El-Masry), a promising young Syrian musician separated from his family and stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request. There, he's housed with other immigrants awaiting their fate.

The film is a tragic but comically wry poem about displacement and the absurdity of immigration policies. Omar truly is in limbo: "an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution." His closest friends are his government-assigned flatmates—especially Farhad (Vikash Bhai), who appoints himself Omar's manager and wants him to enter a talent show so they can win a mini-fridge.

This is a slow-moving, elegiac film about estrangement and isolation. We often see Omar make the trek through the desolate island to a remote phone booth, from which he phones his parents, also in exile in another unnamed country. Omar is losing hope, and it doesn't help that his Scottish neighbors are less than hospitable. Compared to the over-the-top spectacle of In the Heights, also playing at The Palm, Limbo is a slight film, but if you invest in the experience, it offers a payoff that celebrates the indomitability of the human spirit. (104 min.) Δ

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