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Films to Enlighten Regarding Refugee History

From the heartbreaking scenes of Syrians fleeing their war-torn home countries for Europe to President Trump’s controversial ban that briefly prevented refugees from entering the United States, refugees have dominated the news over the last few years. Displaced persons, asylum seekers, and forced migrants have also served as the subjects of riveting dramas and documentaries about refugeedom. For deeper insight into their fraught and often dangerous journeys, check out the following films available at IU Media Services…

Welcome (2009)

A  young Kurdish refugee dreams of swimming across t he English channel to escape the notorious refugee camp in Calais, France, in this heartbreaking French film.

The Pirogue (2012)

This Senagalese film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, chronicles the treacherous and illegal journey 30 African men take in a small boat to Spain in search of a better life.

In This World (2002)

Non-professional and refugee actors play fictionalized versions of themselves in this docudrama, the winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. It follows the illegal journey of two young Afghan refugees from a Pakistani refugee camp to Europe.

Casablanca (1942)

Widely considered one of the best films ever made, with dialogue that stills sparkles 75 years later, this classic is the story of a ragtag assortment of refugees who make their way to Morocco during the Second World War.

El Norte (1983)

Two Guatemalan siblings flee the violence that killed their families in this indie classic.

Monsieur Lazhar (2012)

An undocumented Algerian immigrant works through his grief at a Montreal elementary school is this charming tearjerker.

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)

The story of the program that saved over 10,000 Jewish children from Hitler’s grasp during the Second World War.

Hopefully, these films will be able to provide insight into the events very much happening today and maybe will inspire some to take a stand and make changes where they can to make this world a little bit better, one person at a time.

Meghan Riley

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