“I see everything,” she says as if it was a curse. Brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies. The sea is calm, framed by a piece of railing. A peaceful moment if it weren’t for the fact that the sea is standing upright, vertical, like a waterfall. Her boat sank somewhere between Turkey and Greece. A rush of images, twirling, upside down, jolting. People in the boat, in the water, screams, life jackets, emergency whistles. Even time’s flow comes to a halt, contracting into the brutal present. She is filming and speaking. To beat being tired, being cold, the fact that help isn’t coming. To beat dying, just for something to remain.
This essential film from Syrian director Amel Alzakout charts the sinking of a refugee boat using footage from a waterproof camera. A striking and provocative documentary that confronts viewers with questions of the ethics of documentary filmmaking - and watching.
This London Migration Film Festival screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Alexandra Chen, Dr Federica Mazzara and Christina Varvia.
More about the speakers:
Alexandra Chen is a child protection and mental health specialist with extensive experience working with displaced Syrians in Greece, Lebanon Jordan, and Syria.
Dr Federica Mazzara is a Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster. Author of Reframing Migration: Lampedusa, Border Spectacle and Aesthetics of Subversion, her current research interrogates contemporary concerns in Europe regarding migration as represented in cultural practices.
Christina Varvia is the Former Deputy Director and Lead Researcher of Forensic Architecture (FA). Notably, Christina acted as researcher in charge on the investigation of the 'shipwreck at the threshold of Europe', FA's investigation into the shipwreck caught on camera by Amel Alzakout in Purple Sea.