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Simple Production — Movies, Mother's crossing


Mother's crossing

60' / 2003

Lode Desmet

The film tells the moving story of an Iranian woman and her two daughters on the run for their violent husband and father. A people smuggler takes them on a dangerous journey trough the marshlands that separate Turkey from Greece. At four o’clock in the morning Rojanne (11) – who cannot walk – is literally carried across the European border on the back of the smuggler.The documentary contains exclusive footage filmed by the smugglers themselves. It shows how they hide for the police – inflate their rubber boat – and paddle across the border river in almost complete darkness. People smugglers are invariably labelled as rock hard criminals – who make desperate refugees the victims of their greed and operate in vast networks. The truth is different. A fair number of smuggling operations are relatively small – safe and good value for money. Refugees do not see themselves as victims but as customers. “The smuggler did not push me on this dangerous journey,” says Sima, the mother. “I took the decision alone – in my heart.”


  • Duration : 60’
  • Beta Digit/SP-col.
  • Original languages : Kurdish and Turkish (Subtitled in French and/or English))
  • Director : Lode Desmet
  • Researches : Nawzad Tofec, Sedat Aral and Leen Michiels
  • Image : Lou Demeyere - Hans De Bauw
  • Image & sound editing : Marie-Hélène Dozo 
  • Sound decor : Sylvie De Roeck
  • Sound mixing : Dominique Gaboriot
  • Conformation & calibration : Olivier Lathuy

Production et Partenaires

  • Production : Simple Production , La Compagnie des Taxi-Brousse and VRT
  • Partners : France 2, CBC Radio Canada, DR Danish Broadcasting Corporation,RTSI Televisione Svizzera, SVT Sveriges Television,Unité documentaire de la RTBF, VPRO
  • Soutien : la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Media (Programme de la Communauté Européenne) and CNC (France)


  • Viareggio XX International Film Festival – Europa Cinema, Viareggio, Italy / 25 september 03
  • Split Film Festival – Split, Croatia / September 03
  • 23ème Festival International du Film d’Amiens – Amiens, France / November 03
  • Festival du film sur les Droits Humains – Genève, Switzerland / March 2004
  • One World International Film Festival – Praha, Czech Republic / April 2004
  • International Film Festival of Human Rights – Barcelona, Spain / October 2004
  • Document 2 – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival – Glasgow, UK/September 2004
  • The International Documentary Film Festival One World – Bratislava, Slovakia/ October 2004
  • International Human Rights Film Fetsival – Kiev, Ukraine/December 2004
  • Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen – Brussels, Belgium/ December 2004
  • Cadance Festival – The Hague, Netherlands/2004
  • Tiburon International Film Festival – Tiburon California, USA/March 2005
  • Festival “Arrêts sur Images” (Gsara) – Charleroi, Belgium/April 2005
  • Human Rights Film Festival , Auckland, Wellignton, New-Zealand/April 2005
  • International Film Festival of Ismailia, Egypte/september 2005 (Winner : Prize)
  • Festival International du Film pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse, Sousse, Tunisie/March 2006


  • FIGRA 2004 – Le Touquet, France / 03/2004 (Winner : Grand Prix du Grand Reportage d’Actualité)
  • Brooklyn International Film Festival – New York, Etats-Unis / 06/2004 (Winner : Best documentary)


  • English version
  • Dutch version
  • French version


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