Into the Fire is an investigative documentary, looking at the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece, in the face of severe austerity measures and rising racism. Refugees flee their home countries on the search for safety. Due to its land border with Turkey, Greece is one of the main entry gates into Europe. Once they have entered Europe, European legislation prevents them from moving on to other European countries. In Greece however, refugees are faced with deficiencies in the asylum procedure and appalling detention and living conditions.
Without housing, legal papers or support, they are faced with increasing and often violent racism. Attacks do not only target refugees, but any foreigner, including immigrants who have been in Greece for years. In spite of incendiary propaganda by the extreme right party Golden Dawn and a surge of murderous attacks, state and police seem unwilling to address the issue. Allegations of police sympathizing with Golden Dawn are an open secret. The refugees address their plea for help to Greece and all of Europe: “Let us leave!”
In the first part of the documentary refugees and migrants speak for themselves in moving testimonies on the living conditions and asylum crisis in Greece. The film moves on to document the aftermath of attacks, including visiting a victim in hospital and the Pakistani community gathering to send home to body of a young man who had been stabbed to death. Some who speak are in the country illegally without documents, others have been living in Greece for over a decade and run successful small businesses.
The second part revolves around racist rhetoric and attacks, with Greek citizens speaking up about the lack of response by the Greek state and police force. A Greek lawyer speaks about police brutality against his clients severe enough to be called torture. Now in their 90s, former resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation of Greece are participating in protests against neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
Into the Fire is an experiment in distribution. These days, everyone is talking about crowd-funding. Part of the production of Into the Fire was also crowd-funded. We are going one step further: Not only the production, but also the distribution of Into the Fire is crowd-sourced. On 21st April Into the Fire will be released on simultaneously on various websites and platforms around the internet. An incomplete list of participating organisations and bloggers is available on the film’s website.
The international subtitles have been successfully crowd-sourced using social media networks. A team of volunteers has translated the film into a number of languages and new volunteers are still adding more languages.
Now, watch the documentary
Read more about the film here
You can also watch the film in de Rooie Rat, Utrecht, Oudegracht 65 on Sunday, October 6, 2013. After the movie, we will have the opportunity to discuss with one of the two creators of the film, Kate Mara, and participate in her new project on the free choice for migrants coming to Europe. For more info check the facebook event.