What happens when refugees start to outnumber residents on a small tourist island
The Greek island of Kastellorizo is normally a sleepy tourist destination, with its population of just a few hundred mostly isolated from the events of the outside world. But life on the picturesque island shifted dramatically with the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011 and the ensuing refugee crisis. Located just a mile off the south coast of Turkey, for a while Kastellorizo became an impromptu waypoint for Syrian refugees arriving on smugglers’ boats, seeking asylum elsewhere in Europe. With limited resources to accommodate the enormous influx of people, the residents received them in varying ways: some did everything they could to help; others lashed out in anger; most landed somewhere in the middle, struggling to provide aid without upending their own lives. Intertwining the perspectives of several Syrian refugees and Kastellorizo residents, Alexandra Liveris’s documentary humanises the bitter realities of the ongoing migrant crisis, in which both displaced people and those receiving them are pushed to their limits.
Director: Alexandra Liveris