WE ARE NOT
A Documentary Film
"A brilliant, searing study of what’s wrong with this world,
and a practical exercise in how to avoid it."
"True, sincere...a precious document."
-Rome Prisma Film Awards
WE ARE NOT TOGETHER is a multi-form documentary that takes the European refugee and immigration narrative out of the hands of large media companies and allows us to hear directly from those most affected. Shot in part by its subjects, the film offers an honest look into the myriad diverse experiences of tens of thousands of people trapped in Greece after the closing of the European borders in 2016. Greeks, international volunteers, and refugees struggle together to appeal to the systems of power that claim to protect them. With moments ranging from the horrific to the sublime, We Are Not Together reminds us that the experience of the "refugee" defies easy definition.
Director, Editor, Music Composition
After months volunteering in Greece as an English teacher, he decided to bunker down and make We Are Not Together in an effort to change the way we portray refugees in the media. He has painstakingly composed and recorded all of the music in the film for your listening pleasure. This is his first feature documentary.
Director of Photography,
Tony's contribution to the film has been invaluable, from the first crowdfunding donations, through all 3 months of production in Athens, Greece. He brings a polished and more deliberate visual style to a film with no shortage of shaky-cam footage.
Having lived and worked in Greece for years, Laura's experience has been a critical asset. Contributing by way of counsel, PR, and social connector in Athens, she has believed in this project from it's initial formation and remains an unwavering presence throughout its promotion and distribution.
NOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR
A New, Honest Way of Documentary Filmmaking
I wanted to make for you a film that is true to its subjects. Having seen too many videos on the Mediterranean refugee crisis that treat oppressed people with a level of surreal detachment, it has always been very important for me to show the complexity of their personhood, even if they are on screen for just a few minutes. As such, there are even moments in the film where the subjects are filming each other - or themselves - to allow them to have authorship in their own depiction. This is not a propagandistic film, nor is it one that suggests easy solutions. I believe that if we allow ourselves to see the real people beyond the news headlines and the cliche iconography we've begun to associate with mass migration, we can make more informed and morally grounded decisions as a global society moving forward. You'll find no National Geographic style slow-mo portrait shots here, but I believe you will experience something darker, more authentic, and ultimately personal. In my view this is the means to real lasting empathy, and it’s the cash-value of the cinematic medium above all others.
NYC GREEK FILM FESTIVAL (New York, New York) -Best International Feature- October 2019
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY N/A October 2019
MYART FILM FESTIVAL (Cosenza, Italy) -Honorable Mention- November 2019
UNIVERSITA' DELLA CALABRIA (Cosenza, Italy) N/A November 2019
REDZONE (St. Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Italy) N/A November 2019
KOKE' (Rome, Italy) . N/A December 2019
FONDERIA APERTA TEATRO (Verona, Italy) N/A December 2019
UNIVERSITY OF MILAN (Milan, Italy) N/A February 2020
UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA (Bologna, Italy) N/A February 2020
HUMANS FEST (Valencia, Spain) N/A February 2020
"Refugee? It means you are totally different from other people. It means we don't have any common feelings. That's why I hate this word," Junaid ponders. He has made it to Greece from Balochistan, and has become acutely aware of the connotations associated with his unfortunate title.
When the flow of migration into Europe was at its zenith, media corporations began to send their correspondents to Greece in droves. The international news cycle has since shifted its focus, but tens of thousands of migrants are still trapped in Greece with hundreds arriving daily.
We Are Not Together reveals the struggle of refugees, locals and volunteers to find meaning and solidarity after the EU-Turkey Deal and the closure of European borders in 2016. Covering the fragmented stories of many different people - from different places and cultures, with different goals and ambitions - this documentary offers an honest depiction of a crisis that has thus far been greatly politicised.
With the intent to democratise the media narrative, filmmakers Alex Nezam and Tony Burgesen invested in many small cameras with which the subjects could do their own filming and control their own depiction. From a single mother in Moria camp on the Island of Lesbos, to a Greek anarchist living in a squatted hotel in Athens; each person brings their own voice and drama to this ambitious film.
Functioning as a microcosm of the global political climate, the city of Athens provides a backdrop saturated with historical and anthropological milieu. A thriving solidarity movement squats abandoned buildings and gives refuge to the most vulnerable in the capital, and We Are Not Together offers a deft examination of the striking interaction between migrants, political anarchists, and the structures of power that are meant to protect them.
ORGANIZATIONS WE SUPPORT
NO BORDER SCHOOL
A teachers collective empowering refugees and migrants through education in Athens, Greece.
A long-term volunteer organization that fosters community and provides basic necessities to residents of Eleonas refugee camp in Athens, Greece.
An organization that provides food to the needy - refugees and Greeks alike - in the heart of Athens.
ARE YOU SYRIOUS?
A media NGO covering refugees in Europe, with contributors throughout Eastern Europe, and in Turkey and Syria.