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Jackson Robert Scott,
Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. LIFEBOAT puts a human face on one of the world's greatest contemporary global crises and provides a spark of hope surrounding how civil society can intervene in the refugee crisis in a meaningful way.Written by
Avoids easy politics by putting the crisis right in the face of the viewer
This Oscar-nominated (at time of writing) short film aims to put a first-person perspective on the human toil of the migrant crisis of crossings from Libya into Europe. It opens with the recovery of a body back in Libya (one of many), and then joins a non-profit organization running boats rescuing those on overcrowded and precarious boats. In the second half it presents some first hand interviews to understand why people are willing to risk their life to get across the sea.
In watching it, the lack of commentary is very obvious. We do get talking heads, and of course the makers have their political opinion, but it doesn't have anyone pushing a bigger political point. Of course it feels like it is very much leaning one way - but I think that is less politics, and more humanity coming through. I confess at the start I was ready to play devil's advocate on the bigger picture, and be annoyed at any simplistic suggestion that everyone should be allowed to travel to Europe for a better life - and I do doubt this is the solution; however what the film does well is to force the viewer to say that in the faces of young men and women fleeing slavery, abuse, and mistreatment - all in a place where even those not facing those things don't have a great time of it.
I imagine the film will annoy those that come from a place further to the right of me on the spectrum, but really the film is balanced. It is hard to watch because it puts you on the boats and it does a good job of simply saying "okay, tomorrow we'll fix world poverty and replace unchecked dictatorships, but in the meantime, what do we gain by leaving these people to drown?"
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