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Home > Screenings > Dutch CORE > Frontline

Director: Bram Vermeulen, Sakir Khader

Producer: VPRO

Writer: Bram Vermeulen, Sakir Khader

Genres: Documentary, Factual

2 x 10 x 35’

The current affairs series Frontline focuses on conflicts (of war) from around the world that are often no more than a footnote in our daily lives.

In reports of 35 minutes, journalists and film makers dive into the background of current stories and context is given to news. Their aim: telling forgotten stories that are inextricably linked to our lives here and deserve more attention. The series literally zooms in on people who live on the frontlines. This does not only concern the consequences of armed conflicts, but also issues such as climate change and its impact on daily life.

Green Apartheid
Climate change warnings are leading to major investments in nature conservation and wildlife management in Africa. But the ambition to protect nature and animals increases social inequality and creates Green Apartheid. For relatively little money you can buy land and luxury villas in South Africa, surrounded by nature and wild animals. A paradise for those who can afford it. But what lies behind that green dream?

The Resistance of Beita
As the whole world looks at the unrest in Jerusalem and Gaza last summer, there is another conflict in Palestine that remains underexposed. On the outskirts of Beita, a West Bank village near the city of Nablus, residents have clashed with settlers and the Israeli army over the occupation of Mount Sabih. On the mountain, many Palestinian farmers have land with olive trees. If the mountain is taken over by settlers, the farmers will lose their land, and with it a large part of their annual income.

The Train to War
The latest episode of Frontline is called 'The Train to War' and tells the story of the last 7 days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Frontline team travels by train from western Ukraine to the front in the far east and speak with the Ukrainians about their expectations, their fears and their hopes for what is to come. For most travelers, the war that we now see in the news every day didn’t start just now, but 8 years ago. That struggle has not only divided the country, but also separated families, husbands, fathers and daughters.

As unimaginable as an invasion in those final days may seem, everyone on board realizes the potential consequences. From the TikTok influencer who knows he will not be able to live under Russian occupation, to the conductress who left her children at home, fully armed with weapons. On the Eastern Front, the residents who have been living for years with mortar attacks and artillery fire appear to have no other choice but to stay. "Life is war," can be heard at the front. The train track connects all those stories. A portrait of an old Soviet train through the last days of free Ukraine, a train that now carries soldiers and equipment to war, and brings refugees to safety.

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