Coming to HBO tonight, Monday, June 18:

Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo

Seattle 2018

Select Festivals:

An intimate look at the refugee crisis.

Filmed over several years, Luciano and Piscopo’s exploration of the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of WWII confines its focus to two stories, one tracking the fate of refugees from Eritrea through Lampedusa and finally Sweden; the other of the extended Orfahli family from Syria through Turkey and eventually Germany. Aregai made the treacherous journey from Eritrea with his cousins, but the latter didn’t survive, losing their lives when their boat capsized on October 3, 2013 – an event that drew the world’s attention to the growing migration crisis. In addition to following Aregai’s story, the filmmakers survey Lampedusans involved in the rescue effort or otherwise facing the impact of the onslaught of asylum seekers, like the island’s sympathetic mayor. The other thread of the film concerns Wael Orfahli and his large clan, who already fled Syria for Turkey two years prior, and continue their journey to Europe through underground networks of smugglers and bureaucratic asylum procedures. Though well-meaning and sympathetic, the rough-hewn film’s weaving together of these separate profiles feels fairly random rather than deliberate, and the stories themselves are sadly all-too familiar, with very similar tales told in other recent documentaries about the migration crisis. Still their experiences remain an important reminder of the ongoing chaos facing millions of displaced individuals.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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