MIGRANTS: Encounters with volunteers and clashes with state forces and right-wing citizens pepper the uncertain future of the refugees.
Carmen Gray
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 30, 2020

The refugee crisis that peaked in 2016 as hundreds of thousands of migrants tried to reach safer and more liveable conditions in Europe through perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, has been one of the key global news stories shaping the decade and ideological shifts in global politics — so it’s no surprise that countless documentaries have been made about it. Amid this deluge of films, Slovakian filmmaker and visual artist Tomáš Rafa’s Refugees Are Welcome Here, screening at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, stands out as among the most immersively raw and hard-hitting. With a broad, multi-country scope, it manages, without presumptive narrativising or commentary, and without manipulative sentimentality, to capture how extreme tensions around the issue have been leveraged by a far-right resurgence in Europe, entrenching ever-deeper societal divisions. Rafa has assembled segments of footage documenting exchanges and clashes between different groups moving through or blockading Europe’s travel routes, whose identities and interests exert pressure …

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