The mission of the Lifeline
DE, 2019, 68 min., OmdU – Documentary film
They were sued, shot at and blocked. How a group of Dresdeners, against many odds, brought a ship into the Mediterranean Sea to save people from drowning.
Their goal: to save refugees from drowning. Axel Steier and the team of the Dresden sea rescue organisation “Mission Lifeline” have successfully collected donations for this purpose. They wanted to take their own ship to the Mediterranean. In his hometown of Dresden, Axel Steier not only strikes love for the idea. In addition to public hatred, he has to endure attacks, investigations and trials. And then the reality at sea: boats full of people seeking protection, which begin to sink before everyone’s eyes, oil loss, bombardment by Libyan militias. For over two years, filmmaker Markus Weinberg accompanied Axel and his team with his camera – all the way to the ship off the Libyan coast, where the attempt to save lives is increasingly developing into a battle for the European idea.
Mission Lifeline achieved international fame when the association’s ship in June 2018 with 234 rescued refugees on board searched for days for a port, because no Mediterranean coastal state could bring itself to allow the crew to disembark.
Afterwards: Conversation with Captain Claus-Peter Reisch, the protagonist Axel Steier and the co-director Luise Baumgarten.