When Paul Came Over The Sea: Film Screening and Discussion

When Paul Came Over The Sea, Film Screening and Discussion with Director Jakob Preuss

Thursday, April 12, 2018  |  Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center @ 7 pm - Free and open to all. 

SYNOPSIS: Paul is a migrant from Cameroon. He has made his way across the Sahara to the Moroccan coast where he now lives in a forest waiting for the right moment to cross the Mediterranean Sea. This is where he meets Jakob, a filmmaker from Berlin, who is researching a film about Europe’s borders.

Soon afterwards, Paul manages to cross over to Spain on an inflatable rubber boat. He survives – but half of his companions die on this tragic 50 hour odyssey. Once in Spain, instead of getting psychological help, he is sent to an immigration detention centre on a prison island. It is only upon his release that Jakob and Paul meet again, at a Red Cross shelter in Granada. Because of the economic crisis in southern Europe Paul decides to continue on to Germany, the former colonizing power in Cameroon and the country of his dreams.

When Paul comes to Jakob’s homeland, Jakob has to decide: will he become an active part of Paul’s pursuit of a better life, or remain the detached filmmaker? In the end the film takes a twist that neither Paul nor Jakob could have expected when they first met in the forest in Morocco. The film tells the story of their unusual friendship; a friendship that grew in the politically problematic context of the ongoing European debates on migration.

Jakob Preuss, born 1975 in Berlin, is a documentary filmmaker. His films, shot in Iran, Bosnia, and Ukraine, have been broadcast in over ten countries and screened at numerous festivals. His last film “The Other Chelsea” won the First Steps-Award and the Grimme-Award in Germany. In addition to his activities as a filmmaker, Jakob Preuss is also engaged in political work.

He coordinated the writing of the electoral manifesto of Bündnis 90/ The Greens for the 2014 European Elections and has worked as an adviser on European Affairs for the Greens’ parliamentary group at the German Bundestag. In the past he has also worked as desk-officer for the Commonwealth of Independent States at the NGO “Reporters without Borders” and participated in numerous Election Observation Missions mostly in the former Soviet Union and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2014 Jakob co-founded the initiative GehtAuchAnders (www.geht-auch-anders.de), whereby artists engage with political issues and take a stance. Since 2014, he is regularly invited to speak as a migration expert, direct result of the four years of research conducted for “When Paul came over the Sea”.

Jakob Preuss holds a law degree from the Sorbonne in Paris and a Masters degree from the College of Europe, Natolin.