The Director Andrei Schwartz met his protagonist Gavriel Hrieb for the first time ten years ago during the shooting of his film “Jailbirds – geschlossene Gesellschaft” (2005, 90min), a documentary about the Romanian high security prison Rahova. Gavriel was in Rahova because he got a life-sentence on two accounts of murder. Eight years later he gets released on parole, after 21 years of imprisonment. This measure has been in place only for a few years and is a direct consequence of the admittance of Rumania into the EU. Very few of those with a life sentence benefited from it so far. “Outside” begins with the decision of the parole board. The film team accompanies Gavriel for the first two years after his release.
When Gavriel walks out through the prison gate he only has got about 10 Euros, an expired ID card and no idea how the country he just knew from television up to this point would look like. The parolee is left alone without any social institutions or parole officers to assist him. Instead his overstrained mother and conflicts that have been repressing him for a long time are waiting at the Gate. After a short outburst of euphoria he finds himself in a dead end situation: He doesn’t find a job or a place where he can live the way he likes. More than once, he thinks to himself: I should have stayed in prison... But he is determined not to give up. Hiding behind his Chaplin-esque smile, there is a huge will to live, many unfulfilled dreams – and lots of chutzpa. Now he wants to try his luck in Germany.
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