ON OUR DOORSTEP delves deep into an aspect of the ongoing refugee crisis that rarely reached the press. With NGOs being blocked by red tape and with the absence of any positive action by French or British authorities, this film is a behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary grassroots movement that rose to aid the Calais ‘Jungle', and the community that sprang up there, before it was forcefully demolished.
This is the story of what happens when young and inexperienced civilians are forced to devise systems and structures to support 10,000 refugees; and are left unguided to face the moral and emotional dilemmas, blurred lines and frequent grey areas of giving aid to vulnerable people.
Originally arriving in the Calais 'Jungle' as a volunteer, Thomas Laurance ended up embedding himself and documenting what he saw over the year he spent there, until the camp’s destruction in October 2016. Upon returning to the UK, Thomas sourced footage from other filmmakers, activists, volunteers and refugees, weaving together a patchwork of intimate frontline experience that offers unique access to the communities of the 'Jungle'. ON OUR DOORSTEP stands as a reminder of the continuing work ordinary civilians do to help those forced to seek safety away from home.
"On Our Doorstep combines visceral present tense footage with a thoughtful reflection on the events of a year in the Calais 'Jungle' from the perspective of refugees, volunteers and activists. The filmmakers tell a story which is both movingly personal and full of insight into the dilemmas faced by those who came forward - in the face of government inertia - to respond to the refugee crisis."