A close-quarter portrait of a group of undocumented Iranian immigrants who are stranded and struggling to survive in Athens. Intimate and unflinching, Stop-Over is a rare insight into the dehumanising effects of life in limbo.
Illegal immigration is never far from the headlines, but it is a rare and vital thing to see beyond the propaganda to the people at the heart of the issue with the honesty and humanity of Stop-Over.
Swiss-Iranian first time director Kaveh Bakhtiari visits his cousin Mohsen, who is living illegally in Athens with a small group of other undocumented Iranian men. Greece was supposed to be their gateway into Europe, but having been abandoned by their smuggler, they find themselves trapped, leading a shadow life in the boarding house of fellow Iranian immigrant Amir. The constant fear of being picked up by the police, the hopeless search for fake papers and the monotony begin to take their toll. The only way out is to brave the treacherous onward journey alone, or to give in and find a way back to Iran.
Filming intimately from within the group, but nevertheless an outsider because of his legal credentials, Bakhtiari elegantly captures the camaraderie and struggles of these men, caught in a terrible limbo.