Agnieszka Holland’s “Green Border” At SIFF

Agnieszka Holland’s “Green Border” At SIFF
Syrian family detained by man in military fatigues.

Legendary filmmaker Agnieszka Holland won the Golden Lion at the 2023 Venice Film Festival for this ground-level examination of the refugee crisis at the titular exclusion zone between Belarus and Poland, seen through the eyes of a Syrian family fleeing their war-torn home.

“Green Border” depicts a family of Syrian refugees as they hope to cross the border from Belarus into Poland to escape the violence of their homeland and eventually connect with relatives living in Sweden. They board a plane to Belarus, comforted by Belarusian President Lukashenko’s promise of a safe trip through his country to the Polish border, but this promise is designed to amass a crowd at the border to frustrate Poland and the European Union, who do not welcome the misled refugees. While the family makes their arduous journey, the film pivots to the story of Polish psychologist Julia (Maja Ostaszewska), who experiences a political awakening that leads her to join an activist group that aids refugees camping out in the forest at the border. It is here where the family, accompanied by an Afghan English instructor, Leïla (Behi Djanati Atai), encounters Julia. The film then boldly shifts focus to Jan (Tomasz Wlosok), a Polish border guard whose pregnant wife refuses to acknowledge his participation in the horrific treatment of the refugees—actions that his captain explicitly endorses—until she witnesses a video of it. Whereas Lukashenko sought to reduce Syrian refugees to political pawns devoid of personhood, “Green Border” asserts the humanity of diverse people affected by the crisis, bestowing each with their own motives, dreams, and fears.

The movie also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the Chicago International Film Festival and the Rotterdam Film Festival 2024 and the Mozaic Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival 2024.

Green Border plays at Siff Downtown on Wednesday May 15th at 12:30pm. It also plays on Thursday May 16th at 8:15pm at Majestic Bay.

Regular tickets 17.50$, Senior/Student:16.50$

More: For more info and to purchase tickets: Green Border (

by AR


Starts On

May 15, 2024 - 12:30 pm

Ends On

May 16, 2024 - 10:45 pm



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Event Tags

Movie, Poland, Politics, Travel