Watch ‘4.1 Miles’, Short Documentary Oscar Nominee

Documentary filmmaker Daphne Matziaraki spent three weeks with a coast guard captain from the Greek island of Lesbos who suddenly found himself charged with saving thousands of refugees who crossed into his waters. Said Matziaraki:

Each day, thousands of refugees crossed the water on tiny, dangerous inflatable rafts. Most of the passengers, sometimes including whoever was operating the boat, had never seen the sea. Often a motor would stall and passengers would be stranded for hours, floating tenuously on a cold, volatile sea. Or the bottom of a dinghy would simply tear away and all the passengers would be cast into the water. The coast guard felt completely abandoned, they told me, as if the world had left them to handle a huge humanitarian crisis — or allow thousands to drown offshore.

I followed a coast guard captain for three weeks as he pulled family after family, child after child, from the ocean and saved their lives. All the ones in this film were shot on a single day, October 28, 2015. Two additional rescues happened that same day but were not included.

The film debuted in September 2016 on as part of the organization’s Op-Docs series. This week it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

Matziaraki concludes:

In making this film, I was struck by the fine lines that separate us, the moments when our paths cross fleetingly, and we look at one another for the first time and sometimes for the last. This film shows that crucial moment between life and death, where regardless of political beliefs, fears or preparation, some people will go beyond themselves to save a stranger.




  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says

    It’s heart breaking… so much is so heartbreaking these days.

    Thank you, Bob, for being the kind sensitive person you are – and for caring about so many who have so little – round the globe.

    1. Bob R says

      It is heartbreaking but also uplifting, watching that captain put his life and that of his crew on the line to save the lives of complete strangers. Simply because it’s the right thing –the only thing– to do.

  2. Les Petits Pas de Juls says

    Thank you for sharing this information. A short documentary worth watching to stay tuned with reality… unfortunately… but which reminds us what we should definitely stand for.

  3. paula graham says

    We have to stand firm that we have to help our fellow humans..there for the grace of god go I..Well done Rob , with this article.

  4. kunstkitchen says

    Thanks Rob for sharing this moving documentary. Respect for the Greek people who have helped so many…

  5. […] morning as I once again choked back tears after watching the video Bob Ramsak shared yesterday on Piran Café. I hope you will all visit his post to learn more about “4.1 […]

  6. Thank you, Bob, for sharing this documentary. Such a powerful and moving video.

    1. Bob R says

      Check out more of the NYT Op-Docs series. Some very compelling work.

  7. Manja Mexi Movie says

    Oh, man.

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