Just People

Just People
A Documentary by Alexander Moust & Lucienne Groot
Crowdfunding teaser: 
funded project
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100%
€6.650
donated of €6.650
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINE2019. Refugees in Athens, Arash and Zarah, whose lives and future are at stake find numerous ways to support each other and rise up in creative ways.

''We had homes, studies and jobs just like you..' 

Dear Audience,

My name is Alexander Moust and along with my team, we would like to involve you in our film project JUST PEOPLE about an interesting group of people and a very topical subject that definitely deserves your attention.

Background

The humanitarian crisis and refugee flow that has arisen in Europe as a result of the war in Syria and against IS leads to inhumane situations for a lot of innocent refugees on the mainland and the islands of Greece.

videolink to see Arash:

'We are here because our countries are not safe. We are no tourists nor terrorists!'

In order not to look away from the issues myself, but to pay attention to the extremely distressing situation of many, I have repeatedly traveled to Greece and the Balkan countries, filming there and talking extensively with refugees in the least pleasant circumstances. I also maintain regular contact with them. As a team we need to go back and shoot again for 2 weeks a.s.a.p. to show the curent situation in Athens.

Contents: Just People

Our cameras and microphones take us into the lives of the main characters, Arash and Zharaa, young, determined refugees from Iran and Syria living in Athens. We come to places and situations where as an outsider you normally do not know about and we become part of the daily life of the refugees. In addition, I let them express themselves and ask questions that appeal to their inner world. There is a clear distance between what they want and the possibilities given to them in reality. But they are strong and hopeful and I feel, they will make it.

- Zharaa turns 18 in the film and is full of her mate, a boy who gives acting lessons. Her older sister works as a translator, her younger sisters want to become dancers or lawyers. Her father has become blind during the war in Syria. Zahra and her family wish to get him an eye operation. What will their plan be if, hopefully, they all get a passport over the summer?

- Arash (33) feeds hundreds of homeless people every day through his 'Our House' initiative. But can he also reunite with his younger brother who was not granted asylum in Greece and is still stuck on Lesvos?

Both of them wish to speak their minds and show us their (inner)worlds.

URGENCY

The situation for the main characters has become very critical now that the Greek authorities are cutting off the flow of money to these extremely vulnerable people and many are being evicted from their homes. The date that this will start to happen on a large scale is around April 1, 2019. How do Zharaa and Arash cope with that?

As journalists and filmmakers, we have to start shooting this film NOW. Because we are also active via social media, we try to keep you and the media informed with the film and the images from behind the scenes. We are there when this precarious situation is likely to get out of hand.

Form

By following Arash and Zharaa in their activities through everyday scenes, with family, alone, on the street, in soup kitchens and at jobs in refugee initiatives, cultural, educational or political activities, we get a good picture of them. Their voices or comments ensure that at the same time we hear their inner thoughts about their new temporary and uncertain home situation.

By editing video image, photos, sound, and animation, the alienating, the uprooted and inhumane become tangible for the viewer. We hear their interior monologues (their inner thoughts) auditory under an everyday scene, and a moment later they speak directly to us, straight into the lens. Their dilemmas, the psychological tensions, become palpable. We meet other refugees sideways or introduce these briefly in the streets, against a backdrop of graffiti and staring into our camera.

A fleeting existence.

The lively streets full of graffiti are in stark contrast to the stateless or lawless refugee, who is in danger of becoming a shadow of himself in this setting. I want to get close to their skin through direct cinema or cinema verité, and with that get closer to their emotional world and inner human reality and dignity. I put each other's humanity first and approach them with genuine interest and attention for who they really are or desire to be. No numbers, but just people like anyone else.

" For the time being these people are stuck here, but together they visibly have enormous potential and talent. How do I bring that to life creatively?", I said to myself.

Film & Photography

In addition, I integrated a photo project into the entire film concept, so that refugees themselves can actively participate in the process of image making. With a high-resolution digital photo camera, I will create situations in which they and I will portray refugees together. This can lead to an (open air) exhibition and/or a book. This sub-project is about the subculture of the refugees in Athens. The main characters in this film love this idea.

Both Arash and Zahra prefer to be or become a photographer or journalist. The film and the Just People project offer them a voice, an expression form and a platform for ventilating the thoughts that many refugees like them share. So, photos from our work together will be integrated into the film itself.

Motivation

Some are confident, feel that there is a future and want to build towards it. Others have almost lost hope, due to a number of setbacks and the vicious circle of daily life, and the relentless political unwillingness to accept them.

In short: all setbacks that overpowered them and their position in society in Greece as "outcasts" will take their toll over time.

Opposite feelings of powerlessness, we portray two powerful characters, Arash and Zahra, who independently live towards achieving their dream. In this, they show enormous strength, creativity, and perseverance.

In conversation with them, concepts such as freedom, humanity, solidarity, and justice were repeatedly mentioned.  They yearn for that recognition, for a real future, for certainty, for warmth, care, and love. Very normal and elementary things in any human life.

In short

You can help us - and the people represented in this film – enormously.

You can really make yourself a vital part of the creative process through your donation. You can share the 'behind the scenes' material yourself and expect that we will try our utmost to show the film in full at festivals or on TV. Your name will be added to the credits.

Through donations, you can obtain pre-premiere tickets, but you can also opt for lateral support of the various aid projects or people appearing in the film. This film, therefore, has clear journalistic characteristics, but also an important social and artistic objective. Kindly, take a look in the right column section for all 'reward' options.

And .. last but not least ... the pre-premiere screening in Amsterdam

We will have a festive film premiere in the summer of 2019 in a weekend or holiday.

Location (kept secret for now): an attractive, hip cinema, with a fine restaurant, a funky bar in a prime location in Amsterdam with free parking & a stunning view from the terrace. Sorry, it doesn't get any better than this. An ideal opportunity to exchange ideas.

SUPPORT ...  

Support this project repeatedly by sharing the links to this crowdfunding project on your social media pages or via WhatsApp on your mobile.

Finally: on behalf of everyone participating in the project:

Thank you, efcharisto poli, shukran:

Thank you for your attention and see you soon, during and after the premiere of

JUST PEOPLE

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Quote that inspired the maker

'We are here because our countries are not safe. We are no tourists nor terrorists. 'Before, we had houses, education, and jobs just like anyone else.' 'It has been weeks that anybody on the street said 'hello' to me or gave me a hug.'
Zharaa (Helane) al-Juma & Harash Hampay (refugees)
This project was successfully funded on 06-05-2019

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