What do you pack when you put your life into the hands of smugglers? Who do you take, who do you
leave behind? These are some of the hard, life-changing decisions that a group of Syrian refugees have to make when life in Egypt becomes untenable. With hope in their hearts and little more than cell phones in their pockets, the group of friends embarks on the potentially deadly crossing to Europe.
Once in Europe, they face a new and unforeseen set of hurdles. A maze of bureaucracy and a seemingly endless waiting game puts paid to their eagerness, which rapidly turns into despondency. The little group of refugees, having gone their separate ways, battles isolation and loneliness. This second part of their journey shows the muted despair that comes from families divided, the inability to work or contribute to society, compounded by helplessness as they witness the plight of those left behind. Somehow, they must now find the energy to rebuild their lives.
Partly filmed with hand-held cameras and phones, the documentary illustrates first-hand the initial optimism, enthusiasm and excitement for their “new life”, and the reality of the tremendous hardships of the journey. “The Crossing” is a powerful eye-opening account of the situation of refugees coming to Europe, and an excellent counter-narrative to dispel the negative perception of refugees.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion (Fr/ En)
George Kurian (director), Angela Al Souliman Najib Saddam Mazloum & Shkair (refugees, protagonists of the film).
In partnership with: FIDH, Amnesty International Belgium, CNCD-11.11.11.