‘This was incredible film-making. Intelligent, fascinating, gripping and a powerful human insight into an epic story’
Keo set a high bar with Exodus – its 2016 BBC2 film documenting the refugee crisis – but arguably surpassed it with its latest attempt to shine a light on the impact of war on those caught up in it.
Distilling 18 years of fastmoving and complex events into five hours of TV was no easy task.
Keo’s approach was to eschew interviewing politicians and decision-makers, who have already revealed all they are likely to, and instead turn its sights on an amazing cast of characters.
Director James Bluemel, who previously helmed Exodus and The Romanians Are Coming, has a keen eye for the bleak humour that goes hand-in-hand with the life-threatening situations faced by his contributors. He was supported by a research team that went big on the characters’ individual stories and equipped with a treasure trove of archive sourced from around the world.
One judge dubbed it “an unvarnished way of learning about the collateral damage of war”. “It was tautly told, beautifully shot and overall spellbinding,” they added. “Every character – no matter which side they were on – was treated with deep empathy.”
Another judge said: “This was incredible film-making. Intelligent, fascinating, gripping and a powerful human insight into an epic story.”
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