When Mountains Fall
It’s not the first film on the refugee crisis. But I believe it will be one of the best. Because it focuses on the children and follows them over years and allows us, the audience, to see how they have changed.
-Mark Kitchell, director of “Berkeley in the Sixties“
How This Project Came To Be
In 2017 Michel Bolsey visited Greece with documentary filmmaker Bill Megalos, meeting with refugees and hearing their stories. Later that year he and Jessica began to discuss a film that would present the refugee experience to young people, through the lives of young refugees. In 2018, with the cooperation of Greek NGO Solidarity Now, the group began preliminary interviews in Thessaloniki, Greece.
This film examines, through the lives of refugee families living precariously in Greece, the experiences of young refugees trying to build new lives in the face of enormous obstacles.
Out of unimaginable hardships, the families in When Mountains Fall sought safety and a chance to start anew. Instead, in Europe, as in the US, people are turning away, closing their doors and fanning the flames of fear.
Torn apart by the events that forced them to abandon their homelands, refugees now find themselves scattered and separated from their loved ones.
In the face of this, the young people in our film show the meaning of resilience, determination, and hope.
What does it take to survive the loss of everything that was your life? To experience war, terror, destitution, and flight? To flee through empty wastelands, trudge through the snow, become a refugee in someone else’s country? Find the grit and strength to begin rebuilding a life? And find a song to sing?
For over a hundred years Emma Lazarus’ poem at the Statue of Liberty has welcomed those “yearning to breathe free”. The “homeless, the tempest-tossed”…these are the people who built America. Now they are the people against whom the doors are being closed all across Europe and the US. They remain determined to succeed, whatever the odds. Their stories are daunting…and inspiring.
Despite what they’ve lived through, our characters are full of hope for the future. Future musicians, artists, lawyers and engineers – even filmmakers – they are ready to get moving again, to add their voices to the chorus that makes a thriving and healthy society.
Will they be given the opportunity to realize their dreams? Intisar’s four children have been separated for years from their father; not by war, but by the power of newly-elected nativist governments in Europe, who are refusing the reunification of their family and thousands like them.
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