Fortress Europe

NDR/ARTE, 2013, 52 min.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of refugees try to get to Europe. In 2011 alone, almost 2000 of them – more than ever before – died in the attempt.

Europe is going to greater and greater lengths to seal its external borders: thousands of border guards armed with high-tech equipment and backed up by surveillance planes and patrol boats stand at the ready along the European Union’s frontiers, to intercept the flood of illegal immigrants. Refugees who have been driven from their homes by war, famine or drought seek their fortunes in Europe, drawn by the hope of a better future.

FRONTEX, the European Union agency charged with protecting its external borders, coordinates and assists the national border guards of the individual member states. Whether in the Mediterranean or securing the river along the frontier between Greece and Turkey – Frontex officers are found at all the hotspots along Europe’s external borders.

What are the challenges facing Europe in the future with regard to its refugee policy, and what is to be made of the role of FRONTEX, the agency for external border security? These are just some of the questions examined by “Fortress Europe”.

Written and directed by: Michael Richter
Camera: Felix Korfmann
Sound: Matthias Doebert
Editing: Ulrich Skalicky
Production: Sandra Šamec, Katharina Au
Executive Producers: Nadja Frenz, Matthias Martens
Editorial Assistance: Cornelia Schöffler (NDR/ARTE)
Editorial: Kathrin Bronnert (NDR/ARTE)
Commissioning Editor: Ulrike Dotzer (NDR/ARTE)

Der Film „Festung Europa – Einsatz gegen Flüchtlinge“ wurde im Auftrag des NDR in Zusammenarbeit mit arte produziert und mit Mitteln der Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein gefördert.