Recently, the German city of Cologne made the news for a string of attacks against women that many blamed on migrants. The deepening refugee crisis is polarising German society. Still, no social tensions can stop the sweet celebration of Cologne’s famous Carnival, even if this year’s also came with a bitter pill.
Sweden has a long history of welcoming refugees from military conflicts all around the world. Now, in the latest refugee crisis, it hasn’t shied away, opening its borders to asylum seekers. The scale of the current crisis though is unprecedented and the country is still dealing with previous migration issues. Many are now asking if it’s all too much, even for Swedish hospitality.
The film exposes the plight of Syrian refugee families who cross the border into Lebanon to flee civil war in their country. Now their children have to abandon the dream of a good education and say goodbye to their carefree childhood as circumstances force them to become the breadwinners.
The ancient Greek island of Lesbos is where hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Africa and the Middle East first reach Europe. “Clowns without Borders” is an organisation that sends volunteers to entertain children in the refugee camps and offer a little comic relief.
As war rages on in Syria, many soldiers are badly wounded and have to face adjusting back to civilian life while overcoming disability. They’re forced to relearn simple tasks and have to work to provide for their families. Living a normal life is a daily struggle but they are determined to make it a happy one.
Five years into the devastating Syrian war, the country’s capital, Damascus is a shelter for the civilians who refuse to flee their motherland. Yet, even here no one is really safe as shells hit the streets and buildings regularly. Sameer is a local cameraman who continues his work despite its dangers. Through his lens, he shows us the everyday life of ordinary Syrians.