Refugees in Film: A Series

Published: January 23rd, 2017

Category: Featured, News

The Center for European Studies’ Migration Program is excited to announce its Spring 2017 5-part Film Series: Refugees in Film.

Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Rothman Endowment, the Center for European Studies Migration Program and the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice

During the past year, newspapers and other media outlets have been filled with dramatic captions and grim images capturing the human drama of the refugee crisis that has overtaken Europe. But while it is the European refugee crisis that has the world’s attention right now, the refugee crisis is a global phenomenon.

Worldwide, in 2014, the number of forcibly displaced people was at the highest level ever recorded, standing at 60 million. In theory, refugees are protected under the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 and 1967 proclamations relating to the rights of refugees. In practice however, political responses across the globe have revealed not only the severe limitations that many nations face in accepting and processing mass flows of refugees, but also an unwillingness to undertake such an attempt.  Moreover, the politicization of the refugee issue is polarizing migrant receiving societies.

Forced population displacements are likely to remain a long-term (geo) political and humanitarian concern. Furthermore, given the current tenor of US presidential campaigns, the refugee crisis and the plight of migrants will also likely remain at the forefront of national and international policy debates.

Line Up:

Film 1: Terraferma with Introduction by Esther Romeyn – An Italian drama that captures the development of empathy. A fisherman and his grandson rescue a pregnant woman and her young son from drowning as they make their way to Italy in search of refuge.

  • When: Tuesday, February 21st at 7pm
  • Where: Hippodrome Cinema

Film 2: Fuocommare/Fire at Sea with post-film discussion on Mediterranean refugee politics – A beautiful, cinematic documentary by Gianfranco Rosi that captures migrants’ dangerous Mediterranean crossing, set against a background of the ordinary life of Islanders on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.

  • When: Tuesday, March 14th at 7pm
  • Where: Hippodrome Cinema

Film 3: Welcome with post-film discussion with NGO practitioners and activists – A French film that depicts the friendship between Simon, a recently-divorced swimming coach, and Bilal, a young Iraqi-Kurd whose only dream is to cross the English channel from Calais to reunite with his love.

  • When: Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm
  • Where: Hippodrome Cinema

Film 4: #MyEscape with post film discussion on media representation and migration – Using their own cellphone footage, refugees fleeing to Germany capture the dramatic stories of their journeys. In this documentary, the refugees give their personal accounts of these journeys and videos in extensive interviews.

  • When: Tuesday, April 4th at 7pm
  • Where: Hippodrome Cinema

Film 5: TBA

  • When: Tuesday, April 18th at 7pm
  • Where: Hippodrome Cinema


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