In 2016 a controversial deal was signed between the European Union and Turkey to stop refugees from coming to the Greek islands. The refugees who do make it to these islands, must wait indefinitely for their asylum cases to be processed.
In 2016 a controversial deal was signed between the European Union and Turkey to stop refugees from making the short, yet perilous crossing to the Greek islands. The refugees who do make it to these islands, must wait indefinitely for their asylum cases to be processed. This documentary portrays the unusual transit zone the island of Lesvos has become, through the eyes of two Pakistani refugees and a local fishing community.
Over the last several years I have seen several documentaries that depict the reality of the mass migration to the EU in 2015. Azadi is the most human story within so many stories that I've seen. You can feel the sense of displacement and the need for salvation through following the main character.
Having a glimpse into this reality for the Greek fishermen who have been responding to people arriving for many years and before the media arrived there - is a crucial element to this migration story. It's important that other Europeans see this, see these people and see what exactly does happen when there is no choice but to help.
You can feel the humanity in the fishermen and their want for those arriving to be safe yet being trapped among this situation that clearly isn't stopping because of politics.
Azadi provides a human insight into the reality of having your worth determined by invisible borders, there is no pomp or faff, no dramatics or manipulation. It is what it is and for so many it is endless - that is reality.
Azadi strips away any political association but shows what is happening to people needing refuge as a result of politics. This is a deeply human portrayal that shows the audience exactly what's important - solidarity. The people of Skala Sikamineas have embodied this for generations and have become real life examples of the protectors and promoters of human rights whilst the rest of the EU has merely experienced this migration for the last few years.
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