Murky Waters

When is saving a life a crime? In 2015 Mo Abassi travelled to the Greek island of Lesbos with a humanitarian organisation to help refugees. He saved a group of people from drowning when their overcrowded boat got into difficulties. But then the local authorities arrest him and accuse him of human trafficking. 

Through numerous meetings with his defence attorney, Knud Foldschack, Mo is forced to account for every action that he and his team of volunteers took. Foldschack is a specialist in human rights cases who is determined to protect the long-established right of people to flee from war. Mo faces up to ten years in prison in a foreign country which would mean separation from his young children. 

As the film reveals how the actual events leading up to the arrest unfolded, Mo’s attorney becomes increasingly worried about critical pieces of evidence that he cannot explain away. The film reveals the complex tensions between local people, the coastguard, the authorities, the multiple NGOs on the ground, and how these tensions interact with the simple human instinct to save the lives of innocent people who are in danger of drowning right in front of your eyes. 


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 67 mins
  • Production: House of Real
  • Director: Martin Gulnov
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Denmark


  • Best Film Editing Award at Global Cinema Film Festival Boston 2024 (USA), 'Jury's Special Mention' in the Human Rights category at International Film festival of Uruguay 2024 (Uruguay), Prize – La Sortie de l’Usine of the CGIL Jury at Bergamo Film Meeting 2024 (Italy), CPH:Dox 2023 (Denmark), Human Vision Film Festival 2024 (Austria), Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2024 (Greece), CINEMARE Int'l Ocean Film Festival KIEL 2024 (Germany),

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