Lauren Southern’s new feature-length film, Borderless, recorded the head of an NGO that helps migrants get into European nations admitting she coaches them to lie to border guards. That’s called successful investigative journalism, but YouTube yanked the Canadian independent filmmaker’s documentary on European mass immigration in less than 24 hours, no explanation given. When a government behaves like this, it’s called authoritarianism, but when a social media behemoth censors, it’s called protecting people from “harmful” ideas.
Deleting an expensive feature film is a rough way to treat someone with 700,000 subscribers on your platform, considering all the work Lauren Southern did and the physical danger she subjected herself to in the course of filming on the assumption that she’d be able to show it on YouTube. With a 75 percent market share of the video-sharing market, however, YouTube has no need to curb its authoritarian bent to guard the bottom line. While YouTube’s interference has messed with the total viewers’ number, the filmmaker persisted and uploaded her documentary again.
YouTube decided it was best for society that people not view Borderless, but I risked it. I feel okay now, having seen it, but maybe Lauren Southern’s the new Leni Riefenstahl whose powers are such that she’s got me mesmerized with bad ideas I’m not even aware exist. I wonder what happened to all the Catholics who used to go to movies their church used to condemn. Billy Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid might’ve messed up some innocent minds.
Anyway, what I saw, for a change, was the European mass immigration situation viewed from a logistical/business point of view—how a street vendor in Kabul manages to leave his (there’s a preponderance of single males) wrecked homeland and, if all goes well, takes up legal residency in Reykjavik. We’re used to the media images of packed boats about to capsize, but don’t get much information about what goes on behind the scenes before the migrants take to the sea.
Southern provides a valuable service by exploring the misery and expense these aspiring New Europeans endure to get a shot at a new life, and the key role in the process that profiteering human traffickers play. Seek a better life rather than, say, “escape probable death at the hands of their government,” because, as Southern presents it, many of those the media portray as political refugees are actually economic refugees. This is not an idea that YouTube wants spread on its platform.
The film begins with Southern and her crew at coastal location in Turkey that’s a way station for migrants heading to the Greek island, Lesbos, which itself is a major way station for those on the way to Northern Europe. Southern interviewed an olive farmer there who told her that residents of his village, especially women, could no longer tend to their crops because of the danger presented by the migrants and the human traffickers who are transporting them. He said he’d only do so armed with a gun. You’d have to search far to find an MSM story about how immigration’s affecting Turkish farmers.
Southern says that her investigation in Turkey, and then on to Morocco Greece, Paris, and Ireland revealed that much of European mass immigration are facilitated by violent human traffickers who are reaping enormous profits. She also suggests that some of the NGOs involved in assisting immigrants are profit-driven. Southern interviews a number of migrants on camera who tell her that they paid anywhere from $1000 to $2500 to get them out of Afghanistan, sub-Saharan Africa, and various Arab nations. In Greece, Southern hit paydirt by obtaining a recording of Ariel Ricker, the executive director of pro-migrant advocacy NGO, Advocates Abroad, admitting that her group encourages migrants to lie their way to asylum. The NGO has since shut down its entire social media presence.
Do you have to wonder if YouTube would have deleted Borderless if someone without Lauren Southern’s polarizing reputation had made it? Her detractors often call the filmmaker, who definitely has at least a whiff of white nationalism about her, “alt-right,” which she denies. Alt-lite’s a more accurate designation for the 23-year-old journalist/activist who’s definitely not trying to paint a picture of an invasion of Europe by dark-skinned hordes with bad intent.
Although Southern’s not an objective observer of mass immigration, the film doesn’t even approach Triumph of the Will as a piece of pure propaganda. That’s not to say, however, that it won’t soon get this reputation among progressives who refuse to watch it. The film’s undeniable value’s in filling in many of the blanks in the media’s narrative on European immigration, which is the result of the filmmaker spending four months in the thick of things, something all those authoritative-sounding armchair pundits wouldn’t do