The mobile phone, for a lot of refugees, is an essential tool to organize their escape: They use it as a GPS, to get information or exchange information in groups, to contact smugglers and keep contact to family members and friends. Some use as a “reporter tool”. Made up from mobile phone footage of migrants or refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea during their escape journeys to Europe, plus interviews after their arrival in Germany (or Europe).Watch Now
When traveling across land on an irregular migrant route you can find yourself at the mercy of bandits who are there to rob or kill you. Surviving these encounters without some loss is not common.
A very long, hard and dangerous journey can get even worse at every turn even towards the end. Traffickers can demand more money from their passengers or hold those who cannot pay for long periods of time inflicting regular abuse as they demand money.
Women are the most vulnerable along irregular migrant routes and often times face rape, abuse or death at the hands of traffickers, bandits, and even other migrants.
Three immigrant stories interlace to offer a portrait of the brave souls who leave Africa for Europe but who always stay connected with home. We rarely see immigrants on the move as humans. Do they have lives separate from the process of immigration? But in fact in a globalised, connected world immigrants are as we are. As the narrative unfolds we learn that each of the three characters has motivations very similar to those that drive us.Watch Now
Women migrants run a high risk of being forced into prostitution to pay off debts to people who have paid their way to Europe and other irregular migrant routes. It is difficult and sometimes life threatening to try and leave agreements like this.
The weight of leaving family behind in the pursuit of bettering your life and theirs can take a toll. Sometimes migrants don't see their family for years and other times, never again.
Irregular migrants run the risk of death and despair along routes to Europe. The journey is long and fraught with dangers of all sorts including kidnapping, starvation, robbery and illness leading to death.
REVENIR is a collaboration between the filmmaker and Kumut Imesh, a political refugee from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, currently living in France. Part road-trip, part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this film follows Kumut as he returns to the African continent and attempts to retrace the same journey that he himself took more than ten years ago when forced to flee civil war in his country …. But this time with a camera in his hand.Watch Now
Once you arrive in a camp in Europe - life is hard, you can stay in the camp for months on end. You have no papers, no documents so it is hard to get a job. There are no decent jobs and you have very little money.
The journey at sea is at best unpredictable and hard, at worst it is fatal. In very rough seas, the captain will call for boat balancing which means throwing some people overboard.
“The safety of a person who flees persecution or war is not guaranteed just by simply arriving in a another country"
Paul has made his way from his home in Cameroon across the Sahara to the Moroccan coast where he now lives in a forest waiting for the right moment to cross the Mediterranean. This is where he meets Jakob, a filmmaker from Berlin, who is filming along Europe’s borders. Soon afterwards, Paul manages to cross over to Spain on a rubber boat. He survives – but half of his companions die on this tragic 50 hour odyssey. When Paul decides to continue on to Germany, Jakob has to make a choice: will he become an active part of Paul’s pursuit of a better life or remain a detached documentary filmmaker?Watch Now
Waiting for the right moment to gain access to a boat can take a long time, in Paul’s case it has taken 3 years. During that time he had to be packed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
The journey is unpredictable - there is no food or water and no telling how long it will take. You and your fellow passengers could drown or die from lack of access to water and food.
Making it to Europe is no guarantee of residency. If you are not from a war torn country or fleeing persecution because of homosexuality, it will be difficult to get asylum.
In northern Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla: Europe on African land. On the mountain above, live more than a thousand hopeful African migrants, watching the fence separating Morocco and Spain. Abou from Mali is one of them – the protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it. At the fence, they have to overcome the razor-wire, automatic pepper spray and brutal authorities.Watch Now
Camplife is plagued by fear. Fear, of the police - that they will destroy your meagre possessions, that they will beat you at the fence and fear that all of this has been for nothing.
Each community in the camp has its own administration, its own leaders who organise the jumps at the fence. Nobody is allowed to speak to the Moroccan police. Anyone who does will be killed.
Many don’t make it. They either go back home or die trying to enter Europe. Some people die without burial - sometimes someone is able to let the loved ones know
The film follows a small community of Senegalese women who are living and working in Casablanca, in limbo between “regularisation” in Morocco, or attempting to “cross” to Europe. With humour and sensitivity, the film documents their daily life, as well as their struggles – trying to organise themselves and survive in a Moroccan society that is at the same time generous and hostile.Watch Now
Trying to get documentation as a migrant in another country is never easy especially when you are not welcomed or respected by the society.
Cultural barriers when migrating are difficult and migrants sometimes face backlash from certain people in the new country that treat them unfairly because of their differences.
Many migrants leave home in search of work opportunities to help their families and community. Some find themselves in such a dire place that they do not make enough to send back home.