All roads lead to more
To cope with the daily trauma of a lost home, Syrian filmmaker Afraa Batous is filming her friends as they plan to embark on their first road trip ever. Rahaf, Sara, Rawa and Afraa know the feeling of losing ground underneath one’s feet well. It’s been eight years since their homes in Syria have been blown into pieces. To fight back against how life has unfolded for them, filmmaker Afraa decides to shoot a film, one about her friends being happy, their dreams and fears. She invites them to join her for a trip through Europe, determined to document their experiences.
In the summer of 2020, Afraa, the director, and her three counterparts – Rahaf, Rawa, and Sara –set off on their very first road trip through Europe.
But this is no ordinary vacation, and neither are these women. Each of them came to Europe by a different route and had to make different choices in their lives until they met in Berlin and will revisit by their white van the transit points through which they first arrived on the continent.
Love, summer songs, the comedy that comes from trying to pitch a tent in the dark, Greek islands and even a little dancing – but also a distinctively European geography of pain points, with each stop marked by grief, trauma, regret and the dull roar of heartache.
Throughout their journey, the women share their stories and experiences, each bringing a unique perspective on displacement and migration. Along the way, they encounter challenges and obstacles that test their resolve and make them confront their pasts.
Despite the weighty themes, the film strikes a delicate balance by including moments of humor and joy that remind us of the resilience and strength of the human spirit. It is journey to reflect on exile and home, on what it means to be a woman and a refugee, and on how far we have come as humans in terms of freedom of movement.
Writer and director Afraa Batous
Cast Rahaf, Rawa, Sara & Shams
Camera Afraa Batous, Antonia Kilian & Michaela Kobsa-Mark
Assistant Camera/ DIT Lola
Sound Engineer Irma Heinig
Editor Raya Yamisha
Sound Designer & Composer Majd Al Hamwi & Samer Same Eldahr
Production & Driver Ruba Salameh
Post-Production Supervisor Saskia Rose
Color Grading Sally Shamas
Sound Mixer Bertold Budig
Executive Producer Alex Tondowski & Ira Tondowski
Producer Lorena Junghans
Commissioning Editor Jörg Schneider & ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel
PRODUCTION COMPANY Tondowski Films
IN COPRODUCTION WITH FIlmuni & ZDF – Das Kleine Fernsehspiel