Rida is 8-years-old. The extroverted girl fled with her family from Pakistan to Europe. Now she lives in Hotel City Plaza, a self-organised refugee shelter in Athens. She tells us about her journey, the difficulties on the escape and the dark past overshadowed by the Taliban. ‘Lionhearted’ tackles the refugee crisis from a child’s perspective.
The Hotel City Plaza was built for the Greek Olympics in Athens in 2004 after which it was empty for many years. In April 2016 a solidarity group occupied the empty hotel and created a shelter for refugees. Over 400 people live there including 180 children. The shelter is self-organised. The inhabitants participate in the daily organisation of the shelter in kitchen, cleaning or security shifts.
We follow Rida in her day-to-day life in Hotel City Plaza. Through the voiceover we learn details about the escape. Rida explains how her family entered Turkey by foot, how she experienced living in a camp arriving in Greece. She tells us about her nightmare, in which she remembers crossing the Medieval Sea and her fear of drowning.