These are heroes who have done nothing except to escape from their homes on the day the struggle for their ideals could no longer be reconciled with any realistic hope of survival. The day when their past became the sum of the stories in their country, a land they had to flee merely in order to carry on living. Anyone who does not escape either conforms or fights. And anyone who fights, dies. That was the reality of the day when they decided to become refugees. The film is a large doorway, with a freedom of thought on one side and conformity on the other.

Hassan decided to flee because of his ideals. Throughout the film he continues to believe in politics. He is a refugee due to his conviction; he believes in the political power of other countries, who should take him in. He is ultimately defeated by bureaucracy, but also by his own extreme ego.

Azy and Arman's parents also escaped. The mother and father escaped and/but are alive. If they had stayed, they would all have been killed. Now that the time is right, they have arranged for their children to follow them.

Manu and Abbas are defending their dignity, and to some extent it is during the film itself that they decide precisely why they have fled their land. It is cowardly to run away, say the Iranians who remain and fight or conform. It is brave to run away, into uncertainty, because of faith in one's own convictions, say the Iranians in exile. You must all be conforming, otherwise you would already be dead, say the Iranians in exile. You are all betraying your cultural identity, say the Iranians who have remained in their country. It is a dilemma where both sides are simultaneously right and wrong.

This is also a film about loyalty. Loyalty to political ideals and loyalty to life - which is, for some people, extinguished the day they betrayed their ideals, not on the day of their death. But it is also about loyalty to the family and to one's own life.

This film can be seen as a reaction to and commentary on the political and social situation in Europe today, where racism and hatred of foreigners has become acceptable to a frightening degree. My aim has been to tell some of the true stories and describe the backgrounds of these people who are regarded as aliens, and to show that their stories are universal, their longings for a family and a life in peace and freedom are universal. And it is these universal desires which enable people to do the impossible. It is these desires which give us the strength to overcome everyday humiliations and defeats, and the courage to continue pursuing our dreams - even if many of them come to nothing. And these dreams lie dormant in each one of us, no matter whether we are refugees or not. And we must be permitted to pursue these dreams.

Each of these stories concerns a period of existing between two lives, a period of uncertainty, a period of false illusions, and the stories show how different people react in similar extreme situations when they have the same goal before their eyes: freedom.

This film is a declaration of love of life, for freedom means life. And because I do not merely regard life as something you have to get through somehow, because I see it as something worth fighting for, this film is also intended to convey a life-affirming attitude - though this attitude is not blind to the bitter truths of life.

"For a Moment Freedom" is a film about life, with a smile and many tears. A film where people who can laugh and cry can find themselves, and if people have forgotten how to laugh or cry, it might just help them to remember...


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