Exodus. A Syrian tragedy

It’s the largest humanitarian disaster after WW2: over 3 million Syrians have fled their war-ravaged country from 2011 to the present*, and over 10 million have lost their homes. Half of the refugees are children. And the number of refugees increases while the funding decreases.

Most women fled Syria with children - husbands died or were left to fight in Syria. Their stories about the atrocities committed by the Syrian army are unimaginable: from barrel bombs and use of chemical weapons up to torture and rape.

The situation in Lebanon seems to be a time bomb: in this country of only 4 million inhabitants are officially living today* 1.5 million refugees. Unofficially, the number exceeds 2 million. The precarious conditions in which they live (informal camps, unfinished construction, makeshift housing), the emergence of ISIS and terrorist attacks have brought back Lebanon as an epicenter of East conflicts.

Lack of water, food and medicines are added the tensions between refugees and host communities. After the warm reception from the beginning lebanese patience seems to have come to an end. Beirut seems a very rich society, in fact one third of Lebanese live on less than $ 4 per day. It's therefore a very poor community that hosts a Lebanese refugee community vulnerable. Lebanon, the country with the highest density of refugees in the world, arrived in the unlikely situation that the number of refugees is a ¼ of the citizens. The villages, schools and hospitals are full.

There are over 1 million Syrian children refugees, of which 400,000 in Lebanon. 100,000 children were enrolled in Syrian Lebanese public schools, ie 1/3 of the total number of students ( there is no other country in the world to have done so). But no one knows what happens to the other 300,000 Syrian children. Seems to be a lost generation…

In 2014, United Nations urged donors $ 6.5 billion to help Syrian refugees, the biggest request ever. But the funding was only a quarter of the amount needed. Because the number of refugees increases but funding decreases, many of them were left without the help they receive from the UN.

The worst seems to be the situation of Palestinian refugees in Syria. Most of them chose to live in one of the 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon created after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and who now, after 60 years, have minimal civil rights and are less than second class citizens.

After four* years of conflict, the tragedy of the Syrian people seems to have become a commonplace for international public opinion. Tens of thousands of Syrians are trying to reach Europe (Romania is also transited). The European Union is one of the leading donors in the Middle East but it is not directly involved in managing the refugee crisis. Can EU do more, apart from financial assistance? Can EU accept temporary resettlement of refugees, like Syria's neighbors? For them, blood and religion seems to be a reason to help. What could be the reason for Europeans?

*(winter of 2014)

  • MARIAN VOICU
    Director
  • MARIAN VOICU
    Writer
  • MARIAN VOICU
    Producer
  • Andrei Corut
    Cinematographer
  • Gabriela Mocanu
    Editing
  • Alina Vana
    Editing
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Television
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 31, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Romania
  • Country of Filming:
    Lebanon
  • Language:
    Arabic, English, French, Romanian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • UNCA (United Nations Correspondents Association)
    New York
    United States
    December 14, 2015
    US Premiere
    Golden Medal and The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast (TV & Radio) media
  • Romanian Public TV
    Bucharest
    Romania
    January 10, 2015
    Romania Premiere
  • Romanian International TV
    Bucharest
    Romania
    February 8, 2015
Distribution Information
  • Romanian Public Television (TVR)
    Country: Romania
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - MARIAN VOICU

Marian Voicu is a Romanian journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker.
He worked for 20 years in TV and Radio as host and producer of various awarded programs and innovative formats.
He filmed in more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe, with solid background in Eastern Europe and strong affinity for Africa. He explored all kinds of topic but is particularly interested in political and historical investigation.
In 2015 he received the Gold Medal - Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize from United Nations Correspondents Association for "an outstanding documentary on the biblical escape from Syria" for the documentary "Exodus. A Syrian Tragedy".
In 2016 he published the book "Romanian Treasure in Moscow. The Inventory of a Hundred Years' History", about the greatest litigation of Romania - the Treasure that Romania has deposited in Moscow 100 years ago.
He was project manager of the romanian public radio station in Republic of Moldova and is the manager of annual traineeships for Moldovan journalists.
Among his most recent documentaries are „Breaking Fake News. The War After the Cold War?" (2017), "Torna, Torna, Brother! A History of the Aromanian People Told by Themselves" (2015), "Romanian Treasure in Moscow. The Inventory of a Hundred Years' History" (2013), "Serbia After the War. Searching for the Truth" (2009).

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Director Statement

We are witnessing a massive drama, the biggest humanitarian catastrophe since the Second World War. And yet, nothing can take us out of our "bourgeois" comfort zone. We build walls, we pay contributions to various humanitarian funds, we pay third countries to take the refugees. We prefer to look elsewhere.The "geopolitical" hypocrisy of the most powerful states have transformed this people into the victim in whose eyes we no longer have the courage to look. Where did we go wrong?