Athens. 2015. LKFilms.com. See the film 'Idomeni' here: http://lkfilms.com/portfolio/idomeni/ Shooting the refugee crisis in Greece was an experience not easily separated from pain. Tens of millions have left their homes for fear of their lives and the lives of their family. They don't want to leave. They have no choice. Yet borders in Europe are near impossoble to cross, even legally. Camps with tens of thousands swell with asylum seekers while the local communities, not to mention non-government relief workers, are constantly overwhelmed. Greece, as one example, seeks to bottle neck the problem in Athens until a long-term solution can be accomplished. But no one knows when that will be, and that means more camps, where facilities, social normalcy, and even basic hygiene quickly break down beneath the weight of too many people who aren't allowed to go anywhere but 'back home.' So, many hide in Athens, in safe-houses where groups acquire supplies, clothing, and food for them for a short period of time. The safe-houses also provide protection from the police, and from gangs and human traffickers who seek out refugees to extort or abduct. This is a portrait of Anwar Kashlan, whose father came to Europe from Syria before he was born. Anwar has helped the asylum seekers for a few years, attaching himself to whatever group he can to assist people. An actor by trade, he tends to create a warm, friendly atmosphere performance that brings a smile and even laughter to so many tired faces. But, though they laugh, the tone of hopelessness can't be helped as these weary people, families and children, aren't sure where they're going to go, or if, when they leave the safe house, someone will come to take them 'back home.'
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