Marcel Mettelsiefen returns to Channel 4 to revisit the Children on the Frontline

Channel 4

Marcel Mettelsiefen has made a follow-up documentary to the Dispatches programme, Children on the Frontline.

Children on the Frontline: The Escape, follows on from the critically acclaimed first programme, which won 14 awards including an International Emmy for Current Affairs, two Bafta awards and The Prix D’Italia.

“Filmed over 3 years, this film has unique access to a Syrian family as they are forced to begin life as refugees. From a middle class family under bombardment in Aleppo, to asylum-seekers starting a new life in Germany, we follow them intimately on their journey. By the end of the film you feel like you have really got to know them all, – and through their sometimes poignant, sometimes funny observations, they give you a glimpse of what it really feels like to be a Syrian refugee.” – Channel 4’s Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Siobhan Sinnerton

In that film we witnessed the trials of four young children caught up in the Syrian Civil war and the day to day hardships of life on the frontline in the city of Aleppo. In this second film Marcel continues to chronicle the life of the family as they face the double threat of almost daily bombardment by the Syrian regime and the growing influence and menace of ISIS as Islamic State fighters pour into the chaos of northern Syria.

After surviving the conflict for nearly three years Hala and her four children make the fateful decision to join the millions of Syrian refugees who fled to neighbouring Turkey – abandoning their homeland and hoping for a better life in Europe.

“It is a heart-breaking film. Marcel’s commitment to telling this family’s story has been unwavering and Channel 4 are very proud to have been part of the project.” – Channel 4’s Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Siobhan Sinnerton

The journey of Sara, Farah, Helen and Mohammed and their mother Hala, from war-torn Aleppo to the sleepy German town of Goslar is captured with intimacy and honesty and offers a true insight into the psychological and physical hardship of leaving your home for good.

Children on the Frontline: The Escape is a remarkable film about the wide reaching impact of war, exploring the resilience of young children and their capacity to find hope and new beginnings in desperate situations. With the refugee crisis unfolding across Europe there has never been a more relevant time to explore this gruelling journey.

This Channel 4 Dispatches was made by Marcel Metelsieffen and ITN Productions, ‘Children on the Frontline: The Escape’ will air on Channel 4 in May 2016

Channel 4