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Since fleeing his homeland, Chechnya, Khavaj cannot speak. He lost his voice when his brother found out he was gay and promised to murder him. Threats like this have been commonplace in Chechnya since Ramzan Kadyrov’s rise to power, and Khavaj is not the only one who has had to run and hide. However, because Khavaj was a promising athlete—a martial arts champion—there is a real risk that even in Belgium, where he has found asylum, someone would recognize him and try to kill him. Khavaj cannot tell his story. He remains silent, only his eyes dart about, searching. His mother leaves more and more voicemail messages, but he has no choice—to start anew, he must break away from his past completely.

Previous Festivals: IDFA, Hot Docs (Best Mid-Length Award), ArtDocFest (Festival Grand Prize), Millenium Festival (Youth Vision Award), Biografilm Festival (Special Mention in the International Competition)

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Screening Schedule:
  • Sun 04.07 | 21:00 | Cinematheque 2 | Filmmaker Present | Q&A with the filmmaker moderated by Nir Ferber
  • Thu 08.07 | 12:45 | Cinematheque 2
  • Watch online | The film will be available from July 1st until July 31st

Production: David Hurst
Production Company: Dublin Films, Need Production, Maelstrom Studios
Script: Reka Valerik, Anaïs Llobet
Editing: Jeanne Oberson
Cinematography: Arnaud Alberola
Sound Design: Hélène Clerc-Denizot