Documentary Month 1st - 31st July 2021

Ghosts of Moira

Ghosts of Moira


*IN-CINEMA SCREENING* Screens with You are the Days to Come on 30th July 2022 @ 19.15pm


We meet Khalil and Ayham in the burnt-out Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos in Greece. They are rooting about, pulling copper cords from wiring boxes, their clothing greased from the soot, ashes, oil and smoke. Their palms are black and gouged from the shards they collect from morning till evening in the metal graveyard.

They live alone in the gutted Moria camp. In the midst of starving cats, squeaking rats and the heavy stench of decayed garbage, they have set up a tent and survive by scavenging metal. In these apocalyptic surroundings their paths have crossed for a time, and a unique friendship has been born of shared suffering. Both are from Aleppo; both were wounded in a rocket attack; both fled the brutal civil war in Syria; and now both are homeless again after Europe’s largest refugee camp burned to the ground.

Though their bodies carry the scars of war, their asylum applications have been rejected. While waiting in this bureaucratic limbo, they attempt to sustain a quotidian routine in a sinister place. Khalil is the master chef and boasts that he can cook 225 different Turkish and Syrian dishes. He prepares all their meals at the bonfire in front of their tent, while Ayham is light-hearted, joking around and idle like an annoying little brother.

Khalil’s family live in extreme poverty in Turkey and he feels obligated to support them with the little money he makes from selling the metal to the corrupt, local scrap dealer. He wants to leave Lesbos and plans to sneak onboard the only ship leaving the island. Ayham wants to remain on the island and help other refugees. Both plans seem hopeless.

They are also in a race against the clock. Every day the camp is stripped by Roma people filling their cars to the brink with metal, while Greek authorities clear the camp with excavators, trucks and cranes, leaving Khalil and Ayham frustrated and desperate. When there is no more copper left, they gather aluminum, which fetches a lower price. Soon there will be no more of that left either, and they will move on to iron, which is worth even less. At the same time, they have to hide from the police that patrol the camp and, at one point, raid their tent to interrogate them.

“Ghosts of Moria” is a story from one location, the burnt-out Moria camp. It’s a universal story about how to survive in a post-apocalyptic universe, where human warmth and friendship are as precious as copper wiring—and as rare.

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