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The Crossing cover photo

The Crossing 2015

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Cinema Guild, 115 West 30th Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10001; 212-685-6242

Directed by Directed by George Kurian
DVD, color, 88 min.



High School - General Adult
Human Rights, Immigration

Date Entered: 07/26/2017

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

After 8 days at sea, the Italian coast guard rescues a derelict tanker sailing out of Alexandria, Egypt. The passengers aboard include a group of friends who made the dangerous crossing to escape prison or deportation to war-torn Syria. The film follows Nabil, Rami, Angela, Afaf, Mustafa, and Alia in the days before their departure, during the difficult Mediterranean Sea voyage, their landing in Genoa and eventual settlement in refugee centers. As they slowly integrate into European society, the strong bonds of friendship and support needed to make the short intense sea journey fade as each goes a separate way. In Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands, the refugees have adequate housing and food, but face language and cultural barriers, unemployment, isolation, and depression. The feelings of uncertainty, fear, boredom, and confusion each encounter in Northern Europe is summed up by one of the friends when he says, “It feels like we are still on the boat.”

According to the United Nations, more than 5 million people have fled Syria since 2011 seeking safety, with hundreds of thousands arriving in the European Union each year. While documentaries such as Fire at Sea (2016) record the impact the current immigration crisis has on the cities and towns of Europe, the intent of this film is to tell the story from a refugee’s perspective. Told in a journalistic style, the film captures both the physical hardship and emotional toll immigration takes on an individual.