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Midnight escape - Fateme


directed by:

Jacqueline Peters, Anastasia Misbach

"How is it to spend your entire youth in refugee camps at the EU's external borders? A cinematic portrait about Fateme, a young 19 year old Afghan woman, who has spent her whole teenage years on the move and never loses hope that one day she will be able to go to school.
Fateme leaves Afghanistan with her parents and sisters because their homeland offers no prospects for them as young women. She tells of her escape across Iran, Turkey and finally the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. Her journey is illustrated with drawn illustrations, animated maps and a stirring soundscape. Arriving in Europe on the Greek island of Lesbos, she ends up in one of Europe's largest refugee camps, in Moria. It puts her dreams to the test. She is confronted with inhumane conditions, state repression and restrictions. Fateme experiences the feeling of powerlessness, an endless wait in the barracks of Moria without electricity and running water. It is not the escape across the borders of Iran and Turkey that has left deep wounds, but the feeling of being unable to act in the EU refugee camps, of not being able to feel safe as a young woman, of not being able to wash themselves, of not being allowed to move freely.
After the time in Moria, the family came to Thessaloniki in the refugee camp Diavata where they had to wait for more years for their papers and were confronted with discrimination and racism. But at the same time Thessaloniki became their new home. Fateme spent four years on European-Greek territory, making friends, accepting all the opportunities that were given to her and thus learning different languages, supporting medical teams in the camp as a translator and passing on her positive energy to many people, despite the difficulties of feeling like a stranger in a country, of never really belonging anywhere as a person on the run.
In a very unpathetic and multifaceted way, the viewers get an individual and subjective insight into the situation and reality of a young woman fleeing to Europe. The film works against the stereotypical narration of media reports about refugees. The filmmakers worked collaboratively with Fateme to create and realize this cinematic portrait. Fateme is not only the protagonist of this film, but also the author and narrator of the documentary."

Project Specs:



Germany, Greece



Curated with love for films

official selection


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