Refugees on the Run in Intense Thriller ‘Europa’ from Haider Rashid
“Brave, bold, brilliant.” Bulldog Distr. in the UK has revealed the trailer for a film called Europa, which originally premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival last year in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. This film is essentially Son of Saul but for Middle Eastern refugees in Europe today. It has the same intense, non-stop focus on just one Iraqi refugee on the run on the Turkey-Bulgaria border. Europa is based on real events happening on the dangerous ‘Balkan Route’ where migrants are smuggled into Europe across the Turkish border and are often subject to violence, intimidation and illegal pushback. Iraqi-Italian filmmaker Haider Rashid’s goal was to create an immersive experience to allow the audience to be with the character, close to him, sometimes breathing with him, and to create questions in the audience’s mind, testing their definition of empathy, as this character of whom they know very little, tries to survive and remain a human. Starring Adam Ali as Kamal. I saw this during Cannes last year and it’s an incredibly intense and unforgettable film.
Here’s the official UK trailer (+ poster) for Haider Rashid’s Europa, direct from YouTube:
Kamal (Adam Ali) has fled Iraq to try to enter “Fortress Europe”. At the Turkish-Bulgarian border, local mercenaries are ruthlessly hunting down migrants. Alone in the forest, Kamal has three days to escape. Europa is a critically acclaimed, compelling thriller from director Haider Rashid based on the true stories of migrants traveling the ‘Balkan route’ into Europe. Europa is directed by the award-winning Italian-Iraqi filmmaker Haider Rashid, director of the films Tangled Up in Blue and It’s About to Rain previously, as well as a few other shorts. The screenplay is written by Haider Rashid and Sonia Giannetto, from a story by Haider Rashid. With additional dialogue by Erfan Rashid. This initially premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival playing in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar section. Bulldog Film will release Rashid’s Europa in UK cinemas + on VOD starting March 18th, 2022 coming soon. No US release date has been set – stay tuned.