It would be difficult to tell about this work without mentioning the experiences I have had in the last two years of my life. Starting from October 2014, in the days when the
town of Kobani was under siege from the hordes of ISIS, I developed a somehow "natural" need to discover, investigate and better understand what was going on that land seemingly so
far away, that actually managed to move me so much.
From Kobane liberation fights until my discovery of the Rojava revolution (in northern Syria), it was a short step.
In the last two years I have traveled several times to Kurdistan, split between the borders of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In May 2015, I illegally crossed the border between Turkey and Syria to reach the town of kobani freed since less than four months.
In people's lives the "first time" has a special flavor, and can't be forget. To confront oneself with the violence of that border, to crawl in the mud hoping not to be seen, to be arrested or worse shot by the Turkish military, to get entangled and injured be the barbed wire, to run breathlessly and smile of true joy when you're on "the other side", wherever it is.
Because the symbolic value we place on the border is great, however, by pass crossing it over and over, we torn down the boundaries, and also lost their meaning.
From that May 2015, I continued to follow the evolution of the situation in all the territories of Kurdistan, keeping an eye on that cursed border, that in the following months showed its strategic importance: this region clearly shows the marks and path of Erdogan's autoritarian plan, on this strip of land the great game of the liberation war against ISIS is taking place, on the control and closure of that border rests the infamous agreement for the control of migration flows between the EU and Turkey.
For these reasons, this work aims to be at the same time a story and an instrument of denunciation regarding the great historical responsibility that the countries of civilized Europe have taken by siogning a deal with Erdogan: a complete freedom for the authoritarian projects in Turkish domestic politics, closed eyes regarding Ankara's manslaughter in Bakur, in return for a (very well-paid) contracted controlled access to the south-eastern borders of Europe.
I chose to tell this story without any frills.
A small camera in my backpack and the will to meet those people, thet for the most diverse reasons, face the border every day.
The entire film was shot live, sometimes sitting in front of a tea and chatting quietly, sometimes hiding in the high grass or behind a pile of sand a few meters from bombs and bullets.
The characters in this documentary are as you see them; true, real and genuine.
They opened the doors of their homes, but above all they made me come into their lives, sometimes telling the untold suffering they experienced, other times telling about the joy and hope to see the border disappear one day.
Several times, meeting the partisans fighting ISIS, they pointed out that the camera in my hand was a weapon as well, sometimes even more useful than a Kalashnikov.
The realization of this documentary, was undertaken with the desire to show and denounce the violence of the borders, and most of all to "repay" a debt I owe to all those I met on my way; men, women, young and old, fighters and civilians, which in these lands continue to fight and shed blood, continue to fight the border thinking to tear it down.
The term "border" implies the idea of containment, but also an exhortation to disobey, to rebel. Here it is consumed the violence of power but also the resistance to power. The word “border” implies both a containment and an initation to crossing, to go beyond, an exhortation to disobey, to rebel.
This is the stage for the violence of the power, and for the resistance to the power.
My hope is that this work will help to fill and cancel the distance between "us" and "them", that the indifferent Europe will be moved by the warmth one experience by setting foot on those lands, a fire that continues to burn inside even thousands of kilometers away.
Overcoming the borders.