Refugee Week
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Films to watch during Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a great time to watch films with family and friends, and even possible if you’re stuck in quarantine! Here are some recently released films and documentaries.

Behrouz (2022) – Simon V. Kurian

‘Behrouz’ is a feature documentary telling the story of Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist who fled the Iranian regime, seeking asylum in Australia in 2013. Transferred to Manus Island Detention prison a month after his arrival on Australian shores by boat, Behrouz spent six years in detention. His reporting and writings from the Manus detention prison, using a smuggled mobile phone, brought to international notice the horrific reality of life for detainees. His book ‘No Friend but the Mountains’ written while in detention on his mobile phone has become one of the most celebrated books in Australia in recent times, winning Australia’s prestigious literary award, the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature (Behrouz, 2022).

Simple as Water (2021) – Megan Mylan

The movie immerses viewers in the struggles of Syrian families as they try to rebuild their lives and cope with the effects of conflict, separation, and displacement. It was shot over the period of five years in five nations and emphasises the value of family across many cultures.

Unheard (2021) – LADbible Australia – Jack Steele, Luke Cornish, Cathy Vu, Ellen Dedes-Vallas, Daniel Mansour, Olivia Suleimon

This investigative documentary series explores the alarming numbers behind broader issues and exposes the first-hand instances of racial injustice. Episode 5: Asylum seekers and refugees features the story of “Biloela family” and those people advocating for better treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum. 

Scattered People (2021) – John Swatland

The Scattered People is a group of musicians from Brisbane, Australia, who perform, compose, and record the music and narratives of asylum seekers they meet in detention and community centres. “Through the eyes and hearts of two Iranian musicians, Scattered People is a story about the healing power of music, bringing together people, cultures and countries while exploring Australians’ attitudes towards people seeking asylum. Scattered People is about the power of music to create change and restore hope” (The Scattered People, n.d.). 

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Wandering, a Rohingya Story (2020) – Olivier Higgins and Mélanie Carrier

Wandering, a Rohingya Story is an immersive, poetic, and moving look inside the Kutupalong refugee camp, the largest refugee camp in the world. During a short period of time in 2017, 700,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority left Myanmar (formerly Burma) in order to flee genocide and seek refuge in Bangladesh. The Rohingyas of the Kutupalong camp give testimony to their everyday lives and to the ghosts of the past in between poetry and dreams, food distribution and soccer matches. 

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) – Jasmila Žbanić

In the little town of Srebrenica, Aida works as a UN translator. Her family is among the hundreds of people seeking refuge in the UN camp as the Serbian army acquires control of the town. An international co-production of twelve production companies, the film was shown in the main competition section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival. It was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards and has won the Award for Best Film at the 34th European Film Awards.


Check out our Films resources page for a longer list of films from previous years.

Make sure to take a photo and let us know you’re watching by using the hashtag #refugeeweekau

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