How will you be celebrating World Refugee Day on June 20th? Wait…you don’t think there’s anything to celebrate? Certainly, given that more than 10 million women around the world have been forced to leave their homes with their families due to crises that threaten their lives and the lives of their children, this is one of the more pressing issues of our time. But World Refugee Day is a day to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. Ready to be inspired by the courage of humanity? Ready to see and feel what strength families can conjure in the face of impossible odds? Grab a bowl of popcorn and check out one of these incredible movies…
1. On Her Shoulders (Documentary)
On Her Shoulders follows Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi refugee who survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS. Follow her journey as Nadia finds herself thrust onto the international stage and becomes the powerful voice of her people.
This film will show you how one person can make a difference – if Nadia Murad can use her voice to create change, you can too!
2. Human Flow (Documentary)
Human Flow follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretch across 23 countries around the world. This film from renouned activist Ai Weiwei is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice – from crowded refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaption; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future.
Human Flow is currently on Netflix so it should be easy to find! It will make you feel things you didn’t know you could feel, and what it really means for people in countries all around the world to be a refugees.
3. The Good Lie (Drama)
This movie based on a true story, follows the story of three South Sudanese men, going back and forth in time showing the boys fleeing their village and their difficult journey to Kenya. It also follows their resettlement in the U.S and the challenges they face after the trauma they have experience.
The Good Lie shows the impact these men’s story have on the people around them and gives the audience a firsthand look at what so many people around the world are facing. Even with such a strong and impactful story, it has lighthearted comedic moments that really make you connect to the characters.
4. Salam Neighbor (Documentary)
Two American filmmakers join 80,000 people living in a Syrian refugee camp, providing an intimate look at the world’s worst humanitarian situation and sharing the stories of the people living through it.
Salam Neighbor will put faces to all those stories we have been hearing about on the news. These are the struggles of real people, showing us all just how bad things can get. You will no doubt walk away from this film changed.
5. An American Tail (Family)
This family friendly cartoon follows the story of Fievel Mousekewitz who flees from his home country with his family after his home gets destroyed by cats. A fierce storm on the way over to the U.S separate Fievel from his family. We join him through New York as he searches to reconnect with his loved ones.
This will probably stir up some childhood memories in most of us and make us see things through a whole different lens as an adult. It is a cute and fun way to see a harrowing story and provides a great way for the whole family to learn about what it means to have to leave your home.
So we challenge you, watch one of these films (or all 5!) before June 20th – it will change the way you see the world, the way you see people and make you want to take action this World Refugee Day.