Johnnie Walker’s Ode to Lesvos

The whisky brand created a moving mini-doc about Greek villagers helping refugees.

Skala Sikamineas, on the Greek Island of Lesvos, is home to 153 people. This year, 300,000 refugees passed through it.

In a short documentary as part of Johnnie Walker’s “Storyline” initiative, Anomaly worked with Syrian director Talal Derki to tell the stories, as seen through the eyes of the Greek locals.

“Ode to Lesvos” is a beautifully shot four-and-a-half minute film featuring the fishermen who rescued refugees at sea and the elderly women who washed and ironed their clothes before sending them on their way.

As walls go up around Europe – physical and political ones – to stem the tide of refugees roaming across the continent from Greece to wealthier northern countries, Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking” slogan, which appears at the end of the video, is a statement on the crisis. While the video doesn’t actually feature any refugees, the shot of thousands of abandoned life jackets and the stories shared by the Greek locals humanize the plight of the thousands fleeing war-torn Syria.