Amir’s flat in Athens is small and dirty. Behind its curtained windows live clandestinely six men from Iran and one woman from Armenia. They are waiting for fake papers or for smugglers able to take them further into Europe. For them, Greece is just a place of transit where they live precariously for shorter or for longer, sharing the insecurity of a country increasingly turning rightward and the hope for a better world elsewhere.
Nominated for the European Documentary Award and winner of a Golden Dove for New Talent (Leipzig Dok 2013), Kaveh Bakhtiari‘s first-person documentary focuses on the uncertainty of the long-term wait and the frustrations of communal living, all adding to the human costs of a complex international situation which has seen Greece transformed into a stopping-point for people from the Middle East.
At the beginning of the film, we learn that one of the characters will be dead by the end – a piece of information which reorients one’s attention towards the process rather than the denouement. Still, the question remains: which of the seven people will manage to go further to Europe and which will have to return, defeated, back to their own country? When Switzerland recently voted for the introduction of immigration quotas and United Kingdom’s Immigration Minister resigned after having employed an illegal immigrant as a cleaner, it is clear that, in this world, free movement is still an ideal and Fortress Europe’ a reality as impenetrable as ever.