A wartime tragedy resurfaces in Berlinale refugee study

From Reuters - February 22, 2018

BERLIN (Reuters) - Decades after he won a Silver Bear prize for a pioneering film about the fate of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, Swiss director Markus Imhoof returns to the Berlinale with Eldorado, a meditation on Europes attitudes to refugees arriving today.

Imhoofs 1981 The Boat is Full shone a light on Switzerlands decision to send Jewish refugees back to certain death in Germany during World War Two.

For Eldorado he was prompted by the new refugees to remember his own childhood friendship with an Italian refugee girl, Giovanna, who his parents took in.

The experience, to live with a sister coming from war was - all my life the presence of refugees, he said.

The film blends episodes involving his tragic wartime friendship with todays exodus of refugees to Europe.

In the film, an Italian naval ship off the coast of Syria fishes 1,800 boat people from the Mediterranean. Taken to a refugee camp, they are the lucky ones, spared the fate of the thousands who have drowned attempting to cross the sea.


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