The crew of the emergency rescue ship Lifeline has to wait for months in the harbour of Malta. After saving hundreds of people who have fled their homelands from drowning, its captain Claus-Peter Reisch is being tried locally on a dubious technicality - lack of a registration for the ship - a thinly disguised bureaucratic loophole to hamper aid for refugees on Europe's borders.
No News, the feature film debut by Lennart Hüper, accompanies the crew during the period of sitting tight, waiting for a decision that will allow them to lift anchor once more. Sober documentation of everyday life on the ship is interwoven with reports about displaced persons dying in the ocean, the emergency calls on the marine radio reveal the horrors of boats in distress, with Lifeline powerless to help.
Dir. Lennart Hüper - 81min - 2021 - Germany, Austria
"bureaucracy is cruel in refugee rescue documentary...recurring throughout Lennart Hüper’s sombre documentary are images of the vast, deep ocean, whose rippling surface hums with an ominous melancholy." - The Guardian