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Into The Fire - refugees and migrants in Greece

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Posted on April 11th 2013

JCWI are working alongside video activists from Reel News to help gain the widest audience possible for their new film Into The Fire. The film is thoughtfully made and brilliantly put together but makes, in places, for somewhat uncomfortable viewing.

Things are bleak in Greece at the moment. The vicious austerity measures are ripping up people’s lives, denying people a pension, heating, food and security. The reaction seems to be going in two directions, there is a strong feeling of solidarity with communal kitchens and medical care provided by those who can and there is the growth of progressive parties such as Syriza. But there is also a nasty backlash against the more vulnerable people there – refugees and immigrants.

Into The Fire tells the story of those immigrants, the attacks from police and organised fascists, the appalling treatment of their asylum claims or their attempts to get documentation and the right to work, the homelessness and the lack of healthcare. Add to all that, the impossibility of moving to another country – even the one they came from – and you have the desperate situation these people face.

A huge percentage of refugees making it to the EU in search of sanctuary arrive in Greece – entirely for geographical reasons. They arrive to find the system for documenting and processing asylum seekers in meltdown.  It’s bad enough for the UNHCR, in September 2010, to call the asylum situation in Greece a ‘humanitarian crisis’. Unquestionably things have deteriorated since then. In January this year, Human Rights Watch reported:

“Violence against people from Afghanistan and North and sub-Saharan Africa is alarmingly commonplace, much of it going unrecorded.”

Into the Fire reports on some of the victims of this violence, and looks at the living conditions, prospects and reality faced by them.

But the film is different to many documentaries highlighting difficult situations faced by groups of people around the world. It is a call for solidarity, for participation, for action. It is being premiered online, simultaneously by a number of different websites, blogs and platforms, a case of crowd-sourced distribution. JCWI is partnering with the film makers to organise a few public screenings, in a University, a coffee shop and a barristers’ chambers.  We will also carry the film on this website.

It’s not just in the UK either. The film has been translated into Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish. Work is underway to translate into Albanian, Polish and Serbian.

If you are interested in coming along to one of our screenings, they will be held (in London) at:

School of Oriental and African Studies, Monday 29 April, 6.30pm

Firebox Café, Tuesday 7 May 6.30pm

More to be announced.

Other screenings will be happening in Bristol, Brighton, Bradford, Sheffield with more to be announced. Outside the UK, we have screening requests from Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Luthuania, Denmark, The Netherlands, Latvia, Austria, the United States and Australia.

If your organisation would like to join the list of websites hosting the documentary or you have a blog and would like to do likewise, join the list of distributors through the website.

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