Director(s): Nuno ESCUDEIRO – Writer(s): Moritz BONATTI, Nuno ESCUDEIRO Contact Print page
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On the border between Italy and France, just as in Calais or off Sicily, migrants gather in large numbers…in search of a better life or fleeing wars that are sometimes the result of our own governments’ policies. We come face to face with this reality when we meet families or homeless young people in the streets of our cities…
By law, we are required to assist any person in danger…but these days, that seems to imply any “documented person in danger” – anything else is punishable by law.
The inhabitants of the Roya Valley face this dilemma every day. This beautiful and untouched valley, stretching from Ventimiglia to the Col de Tende, has for centuries been a disputed territory. Its inhabitants, shifted back and forth between states, have been defying any directives that did not recognise the realities of their lives – whether they came from Rome or Paris.
Today, refugees who try to pass deeper into Europe, find barriers and controls everywhere… They have no other choice than walk this arduous path north, through the Alps and through train tunnels, to cross the border from Italy to France through the Roya valley.
Faced with the refugees’ dismay and suffering, a group of valley people simply gave them food, a place to rest… But their human gesture put them at risk; it was against the law. So, they decided to make their actions public, for their own protection - after all, they had nothing to hide. But it attracted the attention of the police and the media and ended up making things more dangerous for the refugees. The situation has had a profound impact on the daily life of the valley people… on their families or their work.
A character-driven film focusing on the personal stories of ordinary men and women who, caught in an impossible and legally complex situation, struggle to keep a sense of their own personal ethics to do what is right. The story of the Roya Valley is a story that stands for hundreds of people across Europe, who simply act in the name of solidarity.