Exodus: Our Journey to Europe
Twelve months ago, the production team began giving cameraphones to people attempting to reach Europe, escaping war, poverty or persecution. They were prepared to film where regular film crews could not go: on the inflatable dinghies crossing from Turkey to Greece, in the back of lorries entering the Eurotunnel, or on open trucks driven by people smugglers across the Sahara.
Episode 1 begins as hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria arrive in the Turkish port of Izmir. We meet 11 year old Isra’a, selling blackmarket cigarettes so that her extended family can pay smugglers to take them across the Mediterranean on a dinghy. But as they hear stories of more and more people drowning, her father Tarek is no longer sure if he can risk his children’s lives…
Meanwhile, 27 year old Hassan, who is fleeing imprisonment and torture in his native Damascus, is desperate to make the crossing at all costs. He puts his life, and those of his travelling companions, in the hands of smugglers and boards a dinghy. As the over-crowded boat begins to take on water, the passengers face a life and death decision.
In Syria, we film 24 year old Anas as he prepares to leave the shattered city of Aleppo, with snipers firing at his departing taxi as he heads towards the Turkish border.
And we meet Ahmad who, having left his wife and young family behind, is racing to get to Britain so he can get them out of their besieged town in Syria. But he’s stalled on Kos as the Greek island is overwhelmed and the authorities struggle to cope.
Filmed by both production and the refugees themselves, the result is a terrifyingly intimate yet uniquely epic portrait of the biggest movement of people that Europe has seen since World War Two.
THIS SERIES WAS AIRED ON BBC2 ON THE 11TH, 12TH, 13TH JULY 2016
The most spellbinding documentary of the year – Euan Fergusson, The Observer
A startling insight into the crisis sweeping across Europe – The Metro
A vital document of one of the definitive chapters of our era – Mail on Sunday
The most powerful and moving account of the refugee crisis to date – The Guardian
Truly empathetic, in the finest tradition of documentary-making: that is, to show you the lives of strangers so you can better understand them. If this doesn’t with a Bafta, there is no justice – AA Gill, Sunday Times
A scarily intimate uniquely sympathetic portrait of a human tragedy – The Telegraph
One of the most remarkable and important pieces of documentary film-making I have ever seen – New Statesman
- Filmed and Series Directed By
- James Bluemel
- Series Producer
- Jane Merkin
- Executive Producers
- Will Anderson
- Andrew Palmer
- Filmed and Directed by
- Jack MacInnes
- Paul Glynn
- Robin Barnwell
- Simon Sykes
- Nick Fenton
- Sunshine Jackson
- Itab Azzam
- Brigitte Scheffer
- Rebecca Stewart
- Assistant Producers
- Gus Palmer
- Daisy Squires
- Andrew Slater
- Alex Hudson
- Production Manager
- Trevor Lopez De Vergara
- Production Coordinator
- Lauren Kelly