A solo sailor faces an agonising moral dilemma in Styx, a tense yet compassionate navigation of the refugee crisis
German doctor Rike (Susanne Wolff) flies to Gibraltar to fulfil a lifelong dream: single handedly sail a yacht to Ascension Island, located halfway between West Africa and Brazil. Weathering a ferocious storm en route, demonstrating her physical prowess as a sailor, we soon realise that this is merely the calm before the real storm. In the distance Rike spots a sinking fishing trawler, carrying too many passengers to save on her own boat. Sending out a distress signal, the coastguard warns her to stay put, promising that the authorities are on their way. Horrified by the helplessness this official response commands of her, she must face her sense of social responsibility head on. Director Wolfgang Fischer says Rike is “shown the limits of her importance and of the empathy of her cultural milieu.” Casting people who have done the perilous journey themselves to play the refugees, Styx aims to accurately portray the experiences people face, miles away from the debates had on land. (Wow). A thought provoking test of one’s moral compass. (Rachel Williams) Brilliant. Dont miss.