The Mind Game

Sajid Khan Nasiri, Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel

Dutch Movies Matter World premiere

When he was just 14, Sajid Khan Nasiri fled Afghanistan alone. After a two-year journey filled with danger and hardships – which he minutely documented on his phone camera – he arrives in Belgium to seek asylum. There, a whole new struggle begins. Intimate sequel to the prize-winning Shadow Game
They call it ‘the game’: the life-threatening journey that many unaccompanied minors undertake seeking protection in Western Europe. For Sajid Khan Nasiri, the game started at 14 after the Taliban killed his father. Via Iran and Turkey to Eastern Europe he progressed ever closer to his destination, hunted down by violent police and hostile civilians. In clips recorded with his telephone camera, and in messages to filmmakers Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel, he keeps track of his progress. 
He is sure that when he arrives, he’ll be able to relax, go to school and start a new life. But once in Belgium a new game begins: the mind game. Being a child, how do you deal with the enormous mental pressure of the journey, with distrustful authorities, and disturbing messages from the home front? An intimate documentary about the psychological pressure young refugees face. 

Nominated for the Dutch Movies Matter award
All nominations


Sajid Khan Nasiri, Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel
Laura Verduijn, Jesse Kuiper
Country of production
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Netherlands, The, Romania
61 minutes
Spoken language
Dari, Dutch, English
Production company
World Sales
Java Films
Dutch distributor