Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
Cyprus/USA, 2014. Ivaasks Films, Transient Pictures. Screenplay by Iva Radivojevic. Cinematography by Iva Radivojevic. Produced by Iva Radivojevic, Leandros Savvides, Landon Van Soest. Music by Alexander Berne. Film Editing by Iva Radivojevic.
The terrifying reality for migrants escaping war torn countries and seeking asylum in the relative prosperity and peace of Europe is the subject of this poetic, haunting documentary. Director Iva Radivojevic is herself from Croatia, an origin she briefly explores before turning her attention to her adopted country of Greece and focusing on the island of Cyprus, which is itself host to a number of new arrivals entering its porous border. The occupied part of the island the No Man’s Land around it makes it relatively easy for many to arrive illegally from the middle east, on this island the predominant newcomers being Palestinians escaping Iraq. Their desperation to escape conflict and abuse is heartbreaking, while the citizens of Cyprus are nervous about letting what they fear are freeloaders who will weigh down their system. The sudden spike in fascist neo-Nazis who take to the streets in xenophobic parades is alarming, but it also inspires a push back from Cypriots who refuse to allow right-wing extremism into their society. A great deal occurs in the short running time of this marvelous work, but the entire thing is enlightening and benefits from Radivojevic’s cool eye in the observation of it all.