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Film Review: Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

BBC2 was broadcasting a programme called Exodus: Our Journey to Europe, which was a programme in three parts regarding the plight of migrants fleeing from various parts of the world. They were fleeing war or just simply fleeing their country to make a better life for themselves and the people they left behind.

The subject of migration into Europe from places like Africa, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq compels people to be either for these people or against, and maybe a mixture of the two.

For my part, I can see the reason why these people flee their country but I can also see the reasons why many Europeans do not want them. However, I was determined to watch this documentary with an open mind.

The first programme featured people fleeing war-torn Syria, which has been in the news for a few years now regarding its civil war. The programme featured families who had had their lives destroyed by the war and had decided to get out and leave for Europe.

The documentary showed how many of these families who had left Damascus or Aleppo and sold everything they had to get to Turkey.  Then, once in Turkey, they had to stay there and sell things like cigarettes until they had the money to give to smugglers to get them from Turkey into Greece.

Once in Greece they then stayed in camps or slept on the streets. Many of them, especially those from Middle Class backgrounds, had never done this before. Then many of them had to walk for miles to get through Macedonia, Austria and eventually to Germany.

Others were heading for the UK, Finland and Sweden. Most of them had their claim for asylum accepted. It did not show you any of them being turned away, apart from one Afghani who had his asylum claim turned down.

This programme really opened my eyes. Imagine if it were any of us who had lost everything to war: your house, your job, members of your family killed. When you think of it this way it really does put you in their shoes. Like the saying goes “Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”, and this saying is certainly true of these people.

Written by Nicholas Bishop

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