Sure it is fun to see a film like Final Destination where teenagers are trying their best in the film to cheat death and to some viewers it might be funny. But what if it is a film where their cheating death because of political reasons or simply trying to put food on the table. Director Pano Karkanevatos recently visited Toronto to screen his film Riverbanks (Ohthes) during the European Union Film Festival to tell the story of two lost souls on the border of Greece and Turkey who both cross paths with each other near the Evros River. Yanis, who is played by Andreas Konstantinou, who is a soldier that is able to cheat death by detecting mines himself is placed in this area to clear these deadly bombs with the rest of his platoon. The minefield was implemented to deter any illegal immigrants coming from the East who are accompanied by gangs to cross the river. Chryssa, played by Elena Mavridou, is one of the members of these gangs who helps children cross that river and uses this dangerous job as a source of income for her single-parenthood life. When both Chryssa and Yanis set their eyes on each other, their romance turns dangerous as they both try to flee from their predicaments and search for a better life with so many elements holding them back.
Riverbanks is a film that exemplifies the truth about the lives who are surrounded and effected by political refugees. This being an example on the border of Turkey and Greece is not far off from being what actually happens in many parts of the world. Political refugees have been always an issue of the past and will not cease to exist in the future. In a now terrifying world where President Donald Trump has proposed a wall on the Mexican and U.S. border to deter illegal Mexican immigrants from entering the States, solutions for this ongoing problem is difficult to answer. When we watch Riverbanks, we can see the amount of true tension and stress that occurs in a local climate of political refugees. But the ongoing grind that people go through like Yanis and Chryssa in this film cannot keep them from dreaming about going to the promised land. Whether or not it is greener on the side, every single one of us will always think about that chance in doing so.