Green Border

Critic’s Pick. “The fury that radiates off Agnieszka Holland’s Green Border is so intense that you can almost feel it encasing you in its heat. A brutal, deeply affecting drama set against the migrant crisis in Europe.”- Manohola Dargis, New York Times

Co-presented by the
San Francisco – Krakow Sister Cities Association!

This year’s most politically charged film. … Agnieszka Holland recognizes the political nature of her film, but emphasizes that its core message is humanistic rather than ideological.” – ScreenAnarchy
A heart-in-mouth thriller.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety
A righteous, infuriating and compelling watch.” – Laura Bobiak, Observer

In the treacherous and swampy forests that make up the so-called “green border” between Belarus and Poland, refugees from the Middle East and Africa are lured by government propaganda promising easy passage to the European Union. Unable to cross into Europe and unable to turn back, they find themselves trapped in a rapidly escalating geopolitical stand-off. An unflinching depiction of the migrant crisis captured in stark black-and-white, this riveting film explores the intractable issue from multiple perspectives: a Syrian family fleeing ISIS caught between cruel border guards in both countries; young guards instructed to brutalize and reject the migrants; and activists who aid the refugees at great personal risk.

Thirty years after Europa Europa, three-time Oscar® nominee Agnieszka Holland brings a masterful eye for realism and deep compassion to this blistering critique of a humanitarian calamity that continues to unfold. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, Green Border is a poignant and essential work of cinema that opens our eyes and speaks to the heart, challenging viewers to reflect on the moral choices that fall to ordinary people every day.

A Film by Agnieszka Holland. In collaboration with Kamila Tarabura & Katarzyna Warzecha. Written by Maciej Pisuk, Gabriela Łazarkiewicz-Sieczko & Agnieszka Holland. Cast: Jalal Altawil, Maja Ostaszewska, Behi Djanati Atai, Tomasz Wlosok.

“Profoundly moving, flawlessly executed.” – Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

“A stunning, harrowing film. [This] devastating refugee epic reverberates with deep empathy and quiet fury.” – Time Out

“Shot in black and white and inflected at various points with subjective nightmare imagery (Holland has said that everything in the film has been carefully researched and fact checked)… Holland is not merely depicting a wide range of attitudes and behaviors around the migrant crisis: She is showing us a politically effective and humane way to act. What is most extraordinary about the film is that it insists on hope—not out of sentimentality but as a discipline. Generous as that action is, GREEN BORDER lays bare, with heartrending clarity, how solidarity is shaped along lines of race…” – Amy Taubin, Artforum

2h 27m
Agnieszka Holland
Poland, Czech Republic, France, Belgium
Polish, Arabic, English, and French with English Subtitles
First Showing
July 12, 2024