Media images of migrants arriving in Italy mainly focus on migrants arriving on the Mediterranean shores of Italy and less on those who arrive via the Balkan route.
In 2019, there were around 5,000 recorded migrant arrivals in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) on the Italian border with Slovenia. Massimiliano Fedriga, the regional govenor of FGV, said in a hearing before the Schengen Parliamentary Committee on August 5 that the ''situation has become unmanageable."
Now a film delves into this issue of entering Europe "through the woods": 'No Borders. Flusso di Coscienza' ('No Borders. Stream of Conscience'), by Mauro Caputo. The film focuses on migrants coming from countries including Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Nepal, and Bangladesh and tells of their very long journey on the Balkan route, which stops at the 242 kilometer border between Italy and Slovenia.
At this crossing, hundreds of people enter Italy every day after getting rid of any trace of an identity that could result in their being pushed back. They even leave behind medicines and any document issued by reception centers where they have been hosted, bringing only a small backpack with a few essentials.
'Figures vastly underestimated'
"In reality they don't stay long with us," Caputo told ANSA. "They try to get to France, Germany, and Spain, which are the most popular destinations. This is why the figures on migrant flows are an underestimate. Even the police are not very interested in stopping them or monitoring them much since they know they are only passing through."
Caputo said that if they get caught, ''there is the need for translator, lawyers, a complicated procedure. However, the population in Trieste has begun to become more aware of the situation. Of course, it is easier to identify and count those arriving on boats, but the Balkan route exists and no one is paying much attention."
'You can't stop a stream'
At the beginning of the film, viewers hear the threatening voice of Matteo Salvini giving an anti-migrant speech in the background. In the rest of the film there are no testimonies given, no interviews. There is only a voice off-screen that follows through the woods this 'army' of little-seen people ready to destroy every trace of their past to begin a new life in Europe.
The type of migrants fleeing is the same as those landing on the shores of Europe. ''Most are adult males,'' Caputo noted. ''Few women and very few children, though recently there are more families using the Balkan route.''
In 'No Borders' there are traces of 'The Game', the nickname given to the migration route through the Balkans. 'The Game' referendum to how migrants try to cross the borders dozens of times, even at high risk, even they manage.
An oft-repeated phrase used in the film is the voice off-screen that notes that ''you can't stop a river'', alluding in the inevitability of this migration. "One out of every 97 people is fleeing at the moment" in the world according to UN data, Caputo pointed out.