Wake Up on Mars @ Human Rights Film Festival

Each of us deals with trauma differently. Which is why one person can gorge on while the other might be halted in their tracks. However, that does not make one person’s trauma bigger or worse than another’s.

On the surface the way Furkan has dealt with what his family is going through seems more effective than his teenage sisters, Ibadeta and Djeneta, have. On a basic level he is conscious, able to carry on with life while they lie is a coma like state in their beds with their parents having to tend to their every need. They have something called ‘resignation syndrome’.

This is a rather new phenomenon. But it seems like the more and more we become a planet filled with refugees and migrants this syndrome’s numbers are going to grow. Another sad effect of inequality, war, disease, violence, and climate change, all of which grow seemingly out of control today.

Originally from Kosovo, Furkan, Ibadeta, Djeneta and their parents live now in Sweden. In a rather precarious/non-documented situation. The parents are fighting hard to gain status in Sweden. While having to do this they also are having to take care of their two daughters. Resignation Syndrome affects children in families who are seeking asylum in another country. The pressure of the precarious situation is too much for them and they completely shut down.

To cope with all these stresses the youngest member of the family, 10-year-old Furkan, dreams. It is almost as if his eyes are lifted out of all this and naturally go to the sky. Stretch out to the rest of the galaxy. He dreams of going to Mars. In order to make this more of a reality, Furkan begins to build his own spaceship. Convinced it will take him away from all the pain he feels due to the family’s situation. It is how he copes.

More than ever refugees are paying the price for the damage we have done to the planet and the lessening of the resources available for the (over) population. The way we have set things up the most vulnerable suffer the most. Millions are being displaced from their homes for a number of reasons. When they try to find a place to live, to be safe, they are seen as the “other” and competition for jobs, resources, etc.

A documentary film like Dea Gjinovci’s is an eye opening one. An often beautiful due to the cinematography, but one also a shocking one. Shocking in that this is a man made. Resignation Syndrome was made by us. We can wipe it out, though. It can all be avoided in a rather simple way. If we just learn to share this planet more equitably. Help our fellow man who finds themselves in trouble.

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