CPH:DOX Review: Children of the Enemy

An emotional Patricio

One of the biggest talking points and political challenges created for European governments by daesh and their attempt to make a caliphate is what to do with those citizens who travelled to Syria (and other countries) to join the group. Whilst the easy option, and one taken by many governments, is simply to strip that person of citizenship, what do you do about their children? Especially if the parents are no longer alive.

Patricio Galvey’s daughter has recently died. She became radicalised and travelled with her Swedish husband and children to join ‘the so-called Islamic state’. After their death, the children, his seven young grandchildren, are stuck in the equivalent of a prison camp; living in appalling conditions. Stuck in a limbo whilst the authorities decide what to do with them. His struggle to repatriate them to the Nordic nation is captured in Children of the Enemy.

Children of the Enemy is a moving portrait of man on a desperate journey to find redemption through the rescue of his grandchildren from almost certain death. It’s a very lonely and emotional trip, captured empathetically and compassionately by director Gorki Glaser-Müller. There are myriad issues surrounding Patricio’s situation but what comes through in Children of the Enemy is his myopic determination to do the right thing. Patricio’s is one story of many.

Children of the Enemy screens at CPH:DOX.  

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