The Atlantic Selects
The Harrowing Personal Stories of Syrian Refugees, in Their Own Words
Oct 03, 2017
Matthew K. Firpo
“I don’t think the human mind is able to understand the suffering we’ve experienced,” says a man in Matthew K. Firpo’s short documentary, Refuge. Filmed on location in 2016 in four different refugee camps across Greece—outside Athens and on the islands of Lesvos and Leros—the film allows victims of the Syrian Civil War to share their experiences. One man describes how his sewing factory was completely destroyed, leaving him penniless and starving. Another man says he was jailed and tortured for attempting to distribute food; his brother was killed shortly thereafter. Some lost everyone and everything. “Wherever I went in Syria, I saw the injured and the dead,” yet another refugee recounts. For Firpo and his production team, Refuge was a passion project fueled by “wanting to know more about the people living these headlines. I wanted to know more about their stories, about what they had lost, what they had left behind, and where they hoped their lives were headed. While news coverage focused on the problem, it often forgot about the human being.”
For more information on the film, visit the Refuge website.
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Author: Emily Buder
About This Series
A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.