The movie

Green Border

At the border between Poland and Belarus is the place through which an influx of migrants risk their lives attempting to reach the European Union. Caught in a web of misinformation, interests and abuse, they are tossed as pawns in a geopolitical game.

Length: 147 min
Country: België, Frankrijk, Polen, Tsjechië
Language spoken: Polish, Arabic, English, French
Language subtitles: Nederlands
Cast: Maja Ostaszewska, Jalal Altawil, Behi Djanati Atai
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Release date: 2023

Description

Agnieszka Holland’s Green Border is a timely fiction about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Europe. The title refers to the swampy forests – a key location of the drama – found at the border between Poland and Belarus. This is the place through which an influx of migrants (mostly from the Middle East and Africa) risk their lives attempting to reach the European Union. Caught in a web of misinformation, interests and abuse, they are tossed from Poland to Belarus as pawns in a geopolitical game.

Shot in black-and-white and divided into chapters, the film follows the crossing paths of a Syrian family, an Afghan woman, a soon-to-be father working at the Polish border, a group of young activists trying to assist the migrants and a psychologist whose life takes an unexpected turn. Among moments of despair, tenderness, impotence, awakening, guilt and violence, Holland offers a harsh critique of how political powers are mishandling this delicate situation – but her main focus is always on the interpersonal relations, on how the lives of those involved in this crisis are affected and sometimes, crucially altered. This kaleidoscopic film is ultimately structured around one central question: what are you willing to do?

Reviews

The Guardian
"gripping story of refugees’ fight for survival in the forest”