Broken Borders: Films about People Beyond the News Coverage

Dates: 7-13 August 2015

Country: UK

Queens_of_SyriaBroken Borders is a new season of films exploring different and deeper perspectives on the Middle East crisis, terrorism and migration. This trilogy of creative documentaries shines a light on the interlinked struggles, fates and fortunes of the people who exist beyond the news coverage and spiralling statistics.

Warriors from the North, Queens of Syria and Those who feel the fire burning are screened at the Bertha DocHouse in London from the 7th to the 13th of August.

Warriors from the North

Warriors from the North traces Abdi, Hassan and Mohammed’s stories, each of which follow a horrifically similar path. Born to immigrant parents all three are angry, disillusioned and ostracized Muslim European youth. Each of them left everything behind to join the ranks of al-Shabaab, an extremist Islamic terrorist group in Somalia. Their story is told from the unique perspective of their best friend, who decided at the last minute to stay in Copenhagen rather than travelling to Somalia.

Queens of Syria

As the war in Syria rages on through its fifth year, there are now more than 2 million Syrians who have been declared refugees — and that’s just the official ones. Jordan hosts more than 600,000 displaced Syrian nationals and it’s there, in the capital Amman, that theatre director Omar Abu Saada and acting coach Nanda Mohammad decide to stage Euripides’ Greek tragedy The Trojan Women. With an all-female cast of Syrian refugees, the story mimics the lives of its actors, whose recent experience of ferocious war and bitter exile leads to an extraordinary, emotionally charged interpretation of the play.

Those who feel the fire burning

As the humanitarian crisis escalates in the Middle East and North Africa, more reports emerge of refugees being abandoned on sinking boats as they attempt to cross into Europe. The relentless media coverage full of statistics serves to dehumanise the ordinary people seeking a better life. Here, director Morgan Knibbe weaves together the unwelcoming realities of those that are successful. Observing them on the street, chased away like dogs as they try to survive in a hostile, alien world where they have no identity. The lucky few, or not so lucky.

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