Price: $350.00

    Code: 2544

    Directed by George Kurian
    2015, 55 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125
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    A rare, firsthand account of one of the most dangerous journeys of our time, this timely, nail-biting documentary follows the grueling plight of a group of Syrian refugees as they cross the Mediterranean Sea and travel across Europe. Gritty and unflinching, The Crossing delivers a poignant portrayal of the immigrant experience by taking viewers where most documentaries seldom go and follows the group as they split up and struggle to build new lives and establish new identities in five different countries.

    Due to Egypt’s increasing harassment of the refugees, a group of middle class Syrians — including women and young children — decide to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. The film uses footage taken by refugee Rami Aramouni, an IT worker, who buys a camera to document the exhausting and risky trek. Rami explains, he hopes the world will understand that his fellow asylum-seekers “are not fleeing for a better life; they just want to have a life.” They pay smugglers to help them, and take a frighteningly crowded bus ride to Alexandria, and, there, board a boat bound for Europe.

    The film chronicles the group’s week-long voyage on a cramped, old sailing boat manned by desperate smugglers who have never before sailed beyond coastal fishing waters. Under unforgiving sun, and low on supplies, the group sits and waits. Many get sick and become dehydrated. Two people are captured while running to shore and are kept in detention in Egypt. After being rescued by an Italian freighter, the group finally arrives in Italy. But their journey doesn't end here. The group makes it to Europe, only to find out that the hardest part of their journey still lies ahead. The group separates, ending up in refugee camps in different countries across Europe: Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. The film follows each of their lives post-voyage, awaiting their asylum status and struggling to navigate a maze of regulations and hardships that prevent them from working, attending school, or learning the language of their new country. A document that goes beyond news coverage, The Crossing is a timely and essential documentary highlighting the complex mechanisms of isolation many migrants such as the ones depicted in The Crossing face — isolated from their home home country and families, they are often separated over the course of their journey, losing their opportunity to share their life-or-death traumatic experiences.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Official Selection, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New York
    Official Selection, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Chicago
    Official Selection, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London
    Official Selection, DOXA Documentary Film Festival
    Official Selection, Hot Docs Film Festival
    Official Selection, One World Film Festival
    Official Selection, Guelph Film Festival
    Official Selection, Lunenburg Doc Fest
    Official Selection, MESA FilmFest


    "Kurian starts with a brief shot of that arrival to avoid the pitfalls of similar 'escape' documentaries that use suspense as a device to draw in audiences. The result is a far more nuanced portrayal of statelessness that also overturns mass media’s narrative, which ends with tired but jubilant refugees reaching the shores of Italy and Greece." — Film Journal International

    "The Crossing is an affecting study of those fleeing conflict. Kurian reminds us that hopes and dreams don't diminish when people are forced to leave their homeland, and illuminates some of the harshest problems faced by refugees while trying to build a new life in a foreign world." — CineVue

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