They are refugees—but what they need is a refugee status. When the lights in Tel Aviv go off for the night, the lines outside the immigration office start swelling. Everybody wants to be on time for when the office opens at 8 a.m. By midnight, there are hundreds of people in front of the door, most of them Ukrainian.
While one of them sleeps on the pavement, another irritably attempts to make sure that everyone gets their rightful place in the line. Time ticks slowly on, and with dawn approaching a small group of office staff arrives, accompanied by security guards whose job it is to ensure the crowd doesn't all flood in at once. Most of them won’t get in anyway, and even those who do will start an asylum procedure that offers limited prospects for success.
In a single night, Backwards encapsulates the refugee crisis: a mass of exhausted people who patiently persevere in their attempt to start a new life—while the rest of the world sleeps.