"A Humanitarian Crisis"
A Review of "8 Borders, 8 Days" by Nathan H. Box
Directed by Amanda Bailly
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME!
For my fourth film of the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival, I decided an education was in order. Since 2011, images of the civil war in Syria have blanketed my television screen, magazines, and the social media/news sites I visit most often. I have watched with a broken heart as "60 Minutes" exposed evidence that President Bashar al-Assad used nerve gas on his own people. I watched in horror as a child was pulled from the rubble and placed in the back of an ambulance. Dirty and bleeding, he sat emotionless. I feared for that child who should be playing with friends and learning instead of becoming normalized to the carnage of war. I also watched as seas of humanity fled by any means to necessary to Greece and the rest of Europe; each individual putting one foot in front of the other in hopes of attaining something that I take advantage of every single day.
"8 Borders, 8 Days" seeks to document the travels of one of those families and by doing so provides a confrontational and eye-opening experience. With each border and day, comes new chaos, crises, and prayers. As I watched children sleeping in the rain, shivering in the cold, starving for food, warmth, and opportunity, I could do nothing but feel guilt for my own privilege. I have never known such pain. Such longing and desire to be free have never been mine.
Documentaries have multiple aims. They can entertain, educate, and/or advocate. If it was the hope of the director, Amanda Bailly, to educate us and force us into a mode of advocacy for the immigrants and refugees seeking asylum within our border, then she should consider this film a job well done. Besides a few "Frontline" episodes on PBS, I have never seen a more clearly defined film on the Syrian Refugee and Humanitarian crisis. The urgency I now feel to do something... anything is because of this movie. This call to action is what made me love this film. For that, I cannot recommend it enough.
Be good to each other,