MAHMUD’S ESCAPE – A SYRIAN FAMILY SEEKING REFUGE

29-year-old Mahmud used to be a rebel who fought against president Assad's regime but also the terrorists of the Islamic State. We follow him from the trenches near Azaz to the treacherous boat journey from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Samos. From there, the family travels through the Balkans and Austria to a refugee centre in Switzerland.

Summer 2015: The Islamic State (IS) attacks a town in northern Syria with poison gas. 29-year-old Mahmud sees no other option but to leave his country and head for Europe together with his wife and three children. Mahmud used to fight president Assad's regime as a rebel, but he also witnessed the rise of the IS and fought against the terrorists. The camera accompanies Mahmud on his journey from the trenches near his hometown of Azaz to the Greek island of Samos, crossing the Mediterranean in a flimsy dinghy. From there, the family travels through the Balkans and Austria to a refugee centre in Switzerland. Mahmud’s small children are convinced that both the IS and Assad want to kill them. In Switzerland, the parents hope to find security, a good education for their children and a brighter future. This film is a unique and poignant documentary, not least because of its remarkable proximity to the protagonists. It tells the real story of a refugee family without hiding from us the hurdles and problems that lie ahead.

Genre Current Affairs
Length 52' HD
Film by Kurt Pelda and Andrea Pfalzgraf
Production
Original Title
Year 2015

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After fighting against Assad and the Islamic State, Mahmud decides to leave Syria with his family. We follow them on their hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea via the Balkans to Switzerland.
Summer 2015: The Islamic State (IS) attacks a town in northern Syria with poison gas. 29-year-old Mahmud sees no other option but to leave his country and head for Europe together with his wife and three children. Mahmud used to fight president Assad’s regime as a rebel, but he also witnessed the rise of the IS and fought against the terrorists. The camera accompanies Mahmud on his journey from the trenches near his hometown of Azaz to the Greek island of Samos, crossing the Mediterranean in a flimsy dinghy. From there, the family travels through the Balkans and Austria to a refugee centre in Switzerland. Mahmud’s small children are convinced that both the IS and Assad want to kill them. In Switzerland, the parents hope to find security, a good education for their children and a brighter future. This film is a unique and poignant documentary, not least because of its remarkable proximity to the protagonists. It tells the real story of a refugee family without hiding from us the hurdles and problems that lie ahead.

Current Affairs
Length 52’HD
Film by Kurt Pelda and Andrea Pfalzgraf
Production SRF, 2015
Original title Sie wollten uns töten –  Eine syrische Familie auf der Flucht in die Schweiz