Evaporating Borders

    Evaporating Borders_Norika

a documentary by Iva Radivojevic.


The film review by Norika Sefa

Is the nationalism an infantile disease? Is it the measles of mankind? Socrates concurred: “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” This was indeed a revolutionary thought, because at that time, social identity was either bound to the city-states. Perhaps it is just as revolutionary today when the world is facing a crisis of the current emigration trends that are very complex. “Evaporating Borders” a visual essay by Iva Radivojevic is strongly portraying this issue while provoking the emotions as much as the intellect, through some poetically visuals, very effectual and rich on associating with being, memories and history.

Portraying the lives political migrants on the island of Cyprus, the film explores global

restrictive practices on migrating populations while indirectly portraying a deeply personal story of the director itself Iva Radivojevic who guides us between the emigrants in a very specific, deliberating way.

It is a personal point of view on this topic and Iva is not getting into reactionary political statements as it is a very personal observing study within the 5 chapters, a structure which keeps us aware of the director presence and reminds us there is someone who is elaborating an issue that is concerning the entire world, through art.

“Evaporating Borders” starts as a representation,quite extensive and rich in detail and the

narrative arc of the film gradually sinks to a internal overwhelming pain. There we become aware we were accompanying Iva in all this. Not having empathized this as the personal experience from the beginning Iva challenges her filming skills avoiding the push for a mercy or any kind of compassion towards her or the theme thinking of her, she makes us watch and objectively assessment about what is being in the screen.

The documentary starts with a very close approach of the city,the camera is between people and clearly hearing their voices and the directors statement is establishes from the fist chapter called “Fear inventions”. Soon camera gradually withdrawn and observes, very static. It get more behind the corners, or up in the distance and zoom in to catch people and their actions. We oftenend up having half-back screen clearly noticing the director was hiding behind the wall or windows. This gives the feeling of limitation, not welcomed and unacceptable. The sense of discomfort and fear permeates all the film .The camera is never revoting, seems like Iva was not ready to face this. The first 10 minutes are very dense, revealing the issue in general, but the second chapter, withdraws, and in the third one there are no voices, only the narration, the music gets silent (paler).

There comes a point when we hear a lady singing while playing in the guitar what what roughly disconnects us from the images and interviews, letting us reflect and digest what have been shown. I t is one of the longest scene and ends with camera focusing in a red circle tattoo placed in the singers neck what associates with a stamp and her as an artifact. Is this how these migrant should feel?

The film is divided in parts as the society itself. The narration is in greek and Iva who is

originally from Yugoslavia and immigrated to Cyprus has probably made the right decision to communicate better and to give a greater sense of responsibility to those people.

Even-though the film don’t bring any conclusion of what can happen in 5 or 10 years, it is more of a stream of consciousness for the principles of inequality by not providing answers but by asking questions such as “Who will leave this world be beautiful?”