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Saturday, February 11, 2017

4.1 Miles (2016)

This short documentary, which is on the short list for the Academy Award was powerful and moving.  It is my second choice for the win.  It chronicles the final leg of the voyage from Syria to Europe for refugees who take the Mediterranean Sea route, and the experience of this for the Greek island that is the closest.
It is absolutely heart stopping to watch the rescue unfold.  There is a rubber raft in the water, with so many people squeezed into it that there is no air at all between them, they are just one big mass.  The raft is taking on water, sinking, and the wind is bracing.  The ship is concerned by the wind, and their own safety but they can see that the raft won't make it without them rescuing it.  There are people in the water already.  The men pull each and every person out of the sea and into their boat, wrap them in a blanket, place them around the boat which is also not meant to hold so many, and in the end, they take them to Europe, in the form of their tiny island that has been overwhelmed with refugees day in and day out.  "You can see the war in their eyes" one rescuer says.  It is traumatic for all, including the viewer.

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