Searching for the exit is a personal documentary insight into one of the most debated topics of today – the forced migration of refugees coming to Europe. The Balkan route is the main migratory gateway into Europe. Having spent several summer weeks among the refugees, the filmmaker had the possibility to build close personal relationships with people coming mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. This recurring pattern of friendship is constantly present in the film thanks to Hussein, a young man from Basra in Iraq who is forced to forget a terrible life tragedy. Hussein’s journey represents a transition between the past and the future, while the filmmaker experiences it as a constant materialization of the uncertainty and dilemmas resulting from his EU citizenship. The passport in his pocket makes him confront his privileged position with the situation of the people he meets during the journey despite the fact that the distance between him and the refugees is often totally erased. The film depicts various encounters and situations from the Balkan route and brings a personal testimony about the border area and state controls, media coverage, volunteer aid, widely spread stereotypes and grey economy. These images and refugee testimonies allow the viewer to experience their journey, get a close up on migration, become a refugee.
Michal Pavlásek is researcher in The Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. Brno. Author is member of Anthropictures - flexible association of social scientists providing independent field research focused on visual and urban anthropology.
production: Czech Television, TPS Petra Kubici.
script, camera, director: Michal Pavlásek
edit: Šárka Sklenářová
assistent of director: Eva Lammelová
Language of dialogues: English, Macedonian, Serbian
Language of subtitles: Czech