Amerika Square is one of the better films dealing with the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. It portrays two friends, one of whom is an anti-immigrant racist, while the other is sympathetic to the refugees who are streaming into their neighborhood. At the same time, it introduces us to some of the immigrants. Although some have criticized director Yannis Sakaridis for not developing the immigrants more fully, he has certainly done a better job than the Italian documentary Fire at Sea, which was honored last year with a best documentary Oscar nomination despite failing to portray any immigrants as full human beings.
Nako, an unemployed 40-year-old living with his parents, doesn’t like the fact that immigrants from African and Muslim countries have settled into the square that he has known since he was a child. His only real friend—from growing up since childhood in the same apartment building—is Billy, a tattoo artist. Billy takes a liking to Tereza, an African nightclub singer, and chooses to rescue her from her gangster “protector” and help her escape from Greece.
Nako, meanwhile, bakes poison into bread and leaves the loaves in places that he thinks poor and homeless people will find them. We follow some of the people who pick up and eat the loaves. Nako is satisfied with his work, until the wrong person eats one of his creations.