Green Border

Agnieszka Holland

Poignant drama about the horrors refugees face in the forests between Belarus and Poland. We follow, among others, a Syrian family trying to flee into the EU and a Polish border guard having qualms about the brutal treatment of refugees. The film caused a right-wing backlash in Poland.

In the treacherous and swampy Białowieża Forest between Belarus and Poland, refugees from the Middle East and Africa are trapped. In this so called ‘green border’, they are caught up in desperation, hunger and fear. They are trying to reach the European Union but find themselves pawns in a geopolitical crisis cynically engineered by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. In an attempt to provoke Europe, Lukashenko has welcomed refugees into Belarus only to lure them to the border by propaganda promising easy passage to the EU. The increasingly aggressive Polish border force just throws them back over the barbed-wire fence.

Navigating this hidden war, several lives intertwine. There’s Julia, a newly minted activist who has given up her comfortable life. Jan, a young Polish border guard whose wife is pregnant. And a Syrian family spanning three generations trying to escape the war in their home country. Thirty years after Europa Europa, three-time Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland’s new feature challenges us to reflect on the moral choices that fall to ordinary people every day. After the film’s release, Agnieszka Holland received threats from right-wing Polish pundits and politicians, among whom the minister of Justice.   


Agnieszka Holland
Marcin Wierzchosławski, Fred Bernstein, Agnieszka Holland
Country of production
Poland, France, Czech Republic, Belgium
152 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English, French, Polish
Production company
A Metro Films
World Sales
Films Boutique
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution