26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Gabriel Babsi
original title: Motherlands
country: Hungary, Romania
year: 2020
running time: 73 min.


The refugee crisis through the eyes of a smuggler. Modern Odyssey lined with railway embankments, sleepers, darkness, the atmosphere of danger, and disappearing hope. A journey across the continents for peace, freedom and seeming prosperity brought Hervé to Europe. He buried his original motherland, Ivory Coast, under the traumatic memories of war. His new home is a shabby Greek apartment where he can live his illegal life with his newborn and Greek girlfriend. A five-year-long look into the life and conscience of a man whose existence is unexpectedly moving in a direction where the line between the moral and the amoral is as blurred as the footage of raids shot by the terrified director.
„What is morality when you have no choices? What is ethical when you have no rights? Can we be judged? And if so by whom?“ G. Babsi

You can watch the director’s introduction HERE

Q&A with the director Gabriel Babsi: 


Gabriel Babsi was born in Italy where he studied literature and philosophy. After graduation, he spent ten years in Paris where he attended the EICAR International Film and Television School. In France, he made his mark by short actors’ films La Tache (2002) and Rougenoir (2010) screened at festivals in Portobello and Long Island. His documentary Fragment of a Friendship (2005) was chosen for the DocLisboa and Oberhausen festivals. In 2012, he moved to Greece where he followed the fate of an African smuggler for five years, simultaneously documenting coal mines in western Macedonia, one of the most polluted areas in Europe.

more about film

director: Gabriel Babsi
producer: András Pires Muhi, Agnes Horvath-Szabo, Anamaria Antoci
photography: Gabriel Babsi
editing: Emmanuelle Baude
sound Design: József Iszlai
koproducent: R. Paul Miller, Anamaria Antoci
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy