Drømmen om Danmark

“Wasis Sisyphean existence is a profound input in the refugee debate…A highly important film.”
EKKO 4****

Fear, despair, helplessness and impending madness is painted in the young man’s face while he is thrown around between borders and counters in total uncertainty.”
PHILM.DK 6******

“Possesses a unique intimacy”



Wasiullah came to Denmark when he was 15 – arriving alone from Afghanistan. Although he has nightmares of his uncle trying to kill him he has found safety and friends in Denmark. He is in some ways like any other teenager; he cracks jokes, sing rap songs and flirt with girls. But his application for asylum is rejected and when he turns 18 he disappears from the asylum centre as he is about to be sent back to Afghanistan.

Living illegally in Copenhagen he decides to leave for Italy hoping to obtain a residence permit that will allow him to return to the Denmark he considers his home. But life in Italy is far from what Wasi has expected. Living on the streets and finding shelter in abandoned houses while longing for Denmark takes its toll on Wasi – and one day the director receives a disturbing phone call…

The director Michael Graversen has followed the young Wasi over many years. The close relationship between them has given Graversen a unique access to Wasi’s life underground in Europe. For Wasi, the dream of one day returning to his friends and a safe future in Denmark has become the driving force for his survival. He struggles to maintain life as a normal young man, but it is not easy waiting for a future that
never gets started. Without a home, a family and an identity, are you anyone at all?

DREAMING OF DENMARK is a tough insight into what happens to one of the many unaccompanied refugee children who disappear from the Danish asylum centres into the shady side of Europe.

Director Michael Graversen
Cinematography Michael Graversen
Editor Rebekka Jørgensen og Sofie Steenberger
Sound Design Raoul Brand
Length: 62 mins.
Production company: Klassefilm v/ Lise Saxtrup

WATCH at Filmcentralen (with uni-login)
Educational material (danish) from Danish Film Institute

Produced with the support of the Danish Film Institute by Ulla Hæstrup and DR1 by Anders Thomsen.

My favorite was Michael Graversen’s Dreaming of Denmark, which directly puts you in the shoes of an Afghan teenager who, unable to get residency in Denmark and afraid to be deported, leaves Denmark with nothing on his back to find a new life in Italy
– Huffington Post

Festivals and awards:
CPH:DOX, F:ACT Award nominee
Amnesty Award, Giffoni International Film Festival
2. pris bedste dokumentar, Giffoni International Film Festival
Lübeck, Nordische Filmtage
Japan Prize, International Educational Program Contest
Helsinki International Film Festival
Human District, Beograd
Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Amsterdam
Bucharest One World, Romania
Document Human Rights Film Festival, Glasgow
Human Rights & Arts Film Festival, Melbourne
Salaam Film Festival / Salaam Film & Dialog
BUFF International Children’s Film Festival, Malmø
DerHumALC International Film Festival, Buenos Aires
Louisiana International Film Festival
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Broadcast in primetime at national broadcaster in Denmark DR1
Broadcast at national broadcaster in Austria ORF followed by an hour-long tv debate about human rights

DR2 Dagen
TV2 News
Ekstra Bladet
P1 Debat
Filmmagasinet Ekko
P1 Eftermiddag
Rushy’s Roulette, Radio24Syv
Radio24Syv Morgen
Reporterne, Radio24Syv
Kristeligt Dagblad
ABC News
Triple R
Screen Daily
Huffington Post

Additional screenings:
New York University
Georgia Tech University
Camden Conference, Maine
Public schools and gymnasiums across Denmark
Danish Refugee Council – in cinemas in Aalborg, Århus and Copenhagen w. stories from young refugees
Dansk Socialrådgiverforening – debate panels and screenings in Odense, Århus and Copenhagen.
Conference: “Unaccompanied Minors and Deportation”, screening and panel debate, Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University
Anthropology studies, Copenhagen University
UNICEF student team, Hague
Danish on a Sunday, Cinemateket
Kulturmødet, Mors Bio
FN Dagen, ARF, Malmø
European Conference on Somatic Experience and Refugees, Mogens Dahl Koncertsal

“Couldn’t be more relevant today”