Overruled

Farnaz & Mohammadreza Jourabchian • 52m

Over one million Afghans live as refugees in neighbouring Iran. For Ismael, Golagha, Kashmir and Nader, the flawed Iranian asylum laws leave them in legal limbo and under constant threat of deportation. To eke out a living, they work as ball boys in Tehran’s upper-class tennis clubs. With observational skill and heartfelt sensitivity, the film shares the reality of their struggles. Golagha and his friends dream of winning a tennis tournament for the substantial prize money. Ismael, the charismatic Bruce Lee look-alike, has the talent to do it but legal barriers and unkind officials pose impossible obstacles. As another way out, the friends seriously ponder the life-threatening journey to an unknown fate in the West. Given the contemporary flood of images of refugees arriving on the shores of Europe, Overruled deals with an important and often overlooked part of the bigger picture, examining refugee struggles in Asia.