Eine Bushaltestelle ohne Personen


A bus stop, a square, a few blocks on a suburban road. Zohra Hamadi, metal rods down her spine, gets off the bus. She walks upright, finally able to breathe easily. But Europe only grants her a few days of respite. Zohra Hamadi decides to reach out to the future. EUROPE – a story of forced fiction.

The bus stop “Europe” is located on an arterial road in a small suburb in the French town of Chatellerault. A few blocks, a brasserie, a kebab shop and a bus that shuttles between the hospital and the forest, a recreation area outside the city. This is where Zohra Hamadi, 32, lives, her summer beginning with the end of a long history of illness. For the first time in her life, Zohra can walk upright, virtually pain-free – she can lead a completely normal life from now on, says the doctor to whom she owes her physical freedom. A completely normal life: Zohra’s flat is in one of the blocks, family and friends all live close by, she has found work at an NGO that deals in second-hand clothes. If only it weren’t for her husband Hocine, waiting in Algeria to finally get a family reunification visa and board the next plane to Zohra. 
It’s summer, the end of July, and all of France is preparing for the holidays on both sides of the Mediterranean. Zohra just needs to renew her residence permit, then she too will leave to spend at least a few weeks with Hocine in the Algerian mountains. But the extension doesn’t come: With the end of her treatment, Zohra loses her right of residence in France. She becomes – for her social environment as well as for the cinema audience – a protagonist forced into invisibility, silenced. It is only through the eyes and reactions of others that one senses Zohra’s struggle to secure a life of long desired normality: how she doesn’t wish to show any weakness, entangles herself in lies, how her world crumbles. Zohra loses her job and her flat. Family and friends leave, she stays back alone in an empty world. 
This empty world becomes a stage for Zohra, equipped with a handful of keys to the flats of others. She reclaims visibility by inventing her future, and not just one, but several, which she plays out in variations. Her fictions, sometimes subtle, sometimes pretentiously bourgeois, are not quite grounded in facts and draw us into a charade of parallel unfolding realities. She lives with Hocine, or she doesn’t, she has a family, perhaps, a new job, a residence permit. 
By reclaiming fictional visibility, Zohra’s struggle for her space in Europe begins, even if she has to change scenarios more and more often. This lends her a transparent, ghostly quality – the refugee becomes a fugitive eluding the systematic grip of the state authorities.



Zohra Rhim Ibrir
Arzt Thierry Cantin
Busfahrer Didier Cuillierier
Nesrins Tochter Khadra Khadra Bekkouche
Nesrins Tochter Imane Nouria Lakhrissi
Nesrin Sadya Bekkouche
Farid Hassane Ziani
Oma Zoulikha Ibrir
Zohras Kollegin Amandine Demuynck
Nachbarin (Hostess) Nawel Kefif
Physiotherapeut Frédéric Guesdon
Nachbarin (Paar) Sarah Boukhennoufa
Nachbar (Paar) Nordine Kefif
Sachbearbeiter Präfektur Thomas Blanchard
Kollegin Sachbearbeiter Jane Resmond
Anwältin Laurence Masliah
Omar Marwane Sabri


Script Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner
Director & Editor Philip Scheffner
Assistant Director Pascal Capitolin
2nd Assistant Director João Carvalho
Director of Photography Volker Sattel
Non-Actors Casting P. Scheffner, P. Capitolin, C. Kirberg
Actors Casting Bahijja El Amrani
Sound Recording Tristan Pontécaille
Sound Design & Mix Simon Bastian
VFX Domingo Stephan
Colour Grading Matthias Behrens
Costume Designer Sandrine Bonheure
Production Designer Nicolas Lefebvre
Gaffer Tarek Shayne Tabet
Line Producers Caroline Kirberg, Thomas Micoulet
Producers Caroline Kirberg, Merle Kröger
Co-Producer Meike Martens
Co-Producers Thomas Micoulet, Karim Aitouna
Commissioning Editor Rolf Bergmann

Produced by pong film
In Co-Production with
Haut les Mains Productions, France
Blinker Filmproduktion, Germany
rbb - Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, France

Script development funded by Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM)
Presented at Venice Gap-Financing Market 2019

Production funded by
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg   
Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine mit dem CNC
Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes mit dem CNC
Film und Medien Stiftung NRW
Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein

Cinema distribution Germany Grandfilm
World Sales Square Eyes

Contact Production pong
Caroline Kirberg
E-mail: kirberg(at)pong-berlin.de
Tel: +49-(0)30-61076098



  • festivals

    World Premiere: Berlinale, Germany (10 – 20 February, 2022)
    Forum Special Mention Friedensfilmpreis

    International Premiere: Visions du Réel International Film Festival, Switzerland (7 – 17 April, 2022)
    Burning Lights Competition Special Mention

    More Festivals 2022-23:

    • Crossing Europe Film Festival, Austria (27 April – 2 May, 2022)
    • Play-Doc International Film Festival, Spain (4 – 8 May, 2022)
      International Competition
    • New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland (21 – 31 July, 2022)
      Out of Competition: The Third Eye
    • Atlàntida Film Festival, Spain (24 July – 24 August, 2022)
      Main Online Programme
    • Doclisboa, Portugal (6 – 16 October, 2022)
      New Visions
    • International Bosphorus Film Festival, Turkey (21 – 28 October, 2022)
      International Feature Film Competition
    • Filmmaker Festival, Italy (18 – 27 November, 2022)
      International Competition
    • International Documentary FF Amsterdam, the Netherlands (9 – 20 November, 2022) Paradocs
    • Solidarity Human Rights Film Festival, Israel (1 – 10 December, 2022)
    • Transcinema International Film Festival, Peru (2 – 10 December, 2022)
    • Kolkata International Film Festival, India (15 – 22 December, 2022) 
      Official Competiton – Innovation in Moving Images section
    • SANFICI – Santander International Independent FF, Colombia (20 – 24 February, 2023)
      Competencia Internacional de Largometrajes
  • fact sheet

    Year of production: 2021/22
    Production countries: Germany, France
    Length: 105 minutes
    Format: Picture DCP 2k | 1:1,85 / 16:9 | color
    Format: Sound 5.1 / stereo
    Languages: Frensh & Arabic with English/ German / Frensh subtitles


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