Faten Shahoud, a Syrian Refugee, whom we interviewed on the Greek island of Lesvos, wants her son to walk again. The twelve-year old needs an operation to repair his shattered leg.
Looking directly into our lens, Abdul Razzak Zarzur tells us that he saw his family, friends and neighbors shot as they attempted to escape Syria. Most died at the Turkish border.
Nadia Essa, her daughter and husband nearly drowned in the Aegean Sea before the crammed, rubber boat made landfall on Lesvos. Her husband’s trauma is so severe that he can no longer speak, only sing. He does sing for us.
Ahmad al-Hamawi says he just wants help getting to Germany so he can see his son again before he dies….
Many tell us about October 28th — the date a wooden boat carrying over three hundred people sank in less than one minute.
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL. This first-of-its-kind documentary tells the stories of the people who fled their homes--mainly Arab and Kurdish-speaking Syrian people--became refugees and are currently detained on the Greek island of Lesvos—waiting for the European Union to decide their fate. Either they will be allowed to stay in Europe or they will be or deported back to Turkey.
Half of our small crew were women. This, no doubt accounts for the number of women migrants who were willing to speak with us. We also interview the residents of Lesvos, a UN representative stationed on the island, and a cross section of international volunteers, coming for diverse reasons.
The film was shot by Italian cinematographer Valentina Caniglia. Rather than speaking without translation in languages most Europeans and Americans don’t understand, we wanted to give the people space, both literally and figuratively, to tell their personal stories. Valentina’s beautiful work in CinemaScope brings out the tragic contrast between the beauty of the island and the situation of these people seeking safety for themselves, for their families.
We filmed on one of the margins of Europe, but what is happening there is central to the future of Europe of the world.