Autumn Documentary Film Season 12th October to 7th November 2013


Thursday 17th October @ 6.15pm
STOP OVER (100 minutes)
Directed by: Kaveh Bakhtiari
Switzerland, France 2013
Screened at Director’s Debut at Cannes 2013

The director, Kaveh Bakhtiari learned that his cousin Moshen had left Iran illegally. Swindled by the smuggler, alone in Athens, he found shelter in the home of another Iranian, a man called Amir who left the country four years ago with the aim of reaching Switzerland. Unfortunately, he was arrested in Athens. To prevent being sent back, he applied for political asylum in Greece.

To make ends meet, Amir has converted a two-room basement apartment into a sort of ‘hostel’ for illegal Iranians, passing through in the hope of settling in Europe. Amir rents them space, feeds them, and above all guides and advises them, keeping a watchful, protective eye out for them. He constantly reminds them: “Don’t let yourselves go, don’t get bogged down, or else you’ll end up staying here, like me! And there’s nothing for you here”. Their desperate search to find a decent border guard or smuggler highlights the plight of life as an illegal immigrant. Who will be the next one to get caught by an ID check and hauled in?
The impact of “Stop-Over” lies in the personal and immediate, capturing the insecurity of people desperate to make a new, safer life for themselves, yet hampered by a system designed to be impenetrable.

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