Jano & Shiro, a Brothers' Journey

Nominated for

Best Short Documentary

Directed by

Eefje Blankevoort & Els van Driel

34' • Netherlands • 2020

The brothers Jano and Shiro are inseparable. When war breaks out in Syria, they flee together in search of a better life for themselves and their family. The boys are 18 and 15 when they set off on foot, heading for the Netherlands. They cross snowy landscapes and meet aggressive border police on their way, filming part of the trip with their phones. When the brothers temporarily lose each other, the screen is split; it feels as if they are playing the lead roles in their own video clip. When they finally arrive in the Netherlands, the dreamed-of destination is less idyllic than the brothers had expected. Due to their age difference, they are separated from each other: for Shiro, as a minor, a different policy applies than for Jano. While Shiro learns the language and makes friends, Jano spends his time waiting. He escapes the stress about his uncertain future and the nightmares about his past by smoking cigarettes and cannabis. After a year and a half, the decision from the immigration service finally arrives.