This section of the website provides links to diverse documentaries about issues affecting refugees.
The films below are available to view online.
Earlier this year, Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, who produced the films, ‘Well-Founded Fear of Persecution,’ have given permission for two of their films to be shared on www.refugeelegalaidinformation.org: Well-Founded Fear and Practicing Refugee Law. These two films provide excellent training and we strongly recommend that they be used to train legal aid providers, interpreters, and judges as well as for raising awareness of the plight of asylum seekers. We ask anyone not from an NGO in the South or lacking the funding to do so, should go to their web site http://www.epidavros.org/ss/products and purchase the films. As they put it: ‘Yes, we are still selling all three on our web site, but we'd love to help. Is there some way for you to filter for decidedly first world down loaders? Would hate to see too many American Universities downloading for free - they can afford a little support for filmmakers! By the way, our post Well-Founded Fear project, an endless one, is here: Twelve Stories: How Democracy Works Now | Home.’
Asylum law - training modules
The Body Snatchers
Fouad Hady presents a disturbing report from Sinai in northern Egypt which documents the link between the kidnappings of refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan and the international trade in human organs. The documentary follows the work of the New Generation Foundation For Human Rights in Arish which helps refugees with health care, nutrition and burial preparation. This SBS production from Australia should serve to increase awareness of the horrors and the need to end these atrocities. A recent court case in Israel sheds light on the kidnapping and abuse of refugees and the extortion of ransoms from families in Israel. See also the information resource provided by The America Team for Displaced Eritreans which is presided over by John Stauffer.
Gender Against Men - The Refugee Law Project (2009)
"Voted Best Documentary 2009" - Kenya International Film Festival. This documentary explores "the hidden world of sexual and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes region." It is a movie about men, violence, and the inability of society to recognise or address male vulnerability in times of conflict. The movie is intended to raise as many questions as it gives answers in its quest for an honest examination of the gender stereotypes underlying mainstream approaches to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Gender Against Men, Refugee Law Project available on Vimeo.
A film that exposes the hidden world of sexula and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes Region. (2008. Running time: 38 minutes)
'On the day Yafa`s refugees return' - Zochrot (February 2010)
A film from Oxfam partner Zochrot exploring the attitudes of local Israelis towards both African and Palestinian refugees in Jaffa, Israel, and asking them to consider the prospect of the return of the town's refugees. Available on YouTube.
Voices of Shadows - A documentary by Ahmed Alkady (2007)
The Refugee Law Project - Makerere University
A Community Video Outreach Project of the Faculty of Law, Makerere University (2007)
Getting Out - Refugee Law Project (2011)
Getting Out was produced by the Refugee Law Project in collaboration with the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law. It is a documentary following the stories of 5 individuals seeking to escape persecution on the grounds of their gender or sexual preference. Shot in Uganda, South Africa, Geneva and London, the film is 60 minutes and is viewable in 2 parts.
World Refugee Day
This video is a 12 minute presentation of some of the highlights of World Refugee Day. We present it for two reasons. The first being that we hope it will inspire others to organize similar events which allow refugees of all nationalities to present artistic performances to, and share their food with their hosts. Second: we hope students from universities around the world will write http://www.star-network.org.uk/ and request permission to use their name to organize similar student clubs. They can take their inspiration from AUC students in Cairo. World Refugee Day only happens once a year. Throughout the year, however, AUC students and refugee members of STAR organize language courses in Arabic and English for refugee throughout Greater Cairo, arrange for refugees to sell handicrafts on the campus, and provide tutoring for children and adults.
First recorded in 2005 this Algerian rap song exhibits the the desires of young adults from north Africa to travel, despite prevention from attaining visas. The lyrics are provided in French and English.
Welcome to Malaysia - SBS Australia
Produced for SBS Dateline in Australia, this short documentary uncovers the conditions in Malaysia's notorious refugee detention centres.
Signed by the governments of Uganda and Rwanda and the UNHCR representative for Uganda the Cessation Clause assumes that ethnic unity and stability in Rwanda is such that refugees will no longer require their status. Left unchanged this will come in to effect on the 31st of December 2011. Note: This date has now be delayed by UNHCR to June 2013. This short film includes testimonies which challenge the assumptions that Rwanda is safe for all refugees to return.
An Israeli film documenting the influx of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border in to Israel in 2007, and the reactions of citizens and politicians. The film focuses on the personal stories of two refugees, both from Darfur and one with his family. The film is an hour and ten minutes long, and is viewable here in three parts. Permission to stream the film here is given by the global distributor Ruth Diskin Films. Information on this film is available at www.ruthfilms.com/refugees.
This film is about statelessness in Lebanon. It also shows examples of those whose nationality is "under study", orphans, children of Lebanese women married to stateless persons, children born outside marriage or from marriages not registered.
Frontiers Ruwad Association was established to defend the rights of refugees and stateless persons in Lebanon. The film is in Arabic with English and French subtitles.
The following recommended documentaries about issues affecting refugees are not available to view in full online. Links to trailers and excerpts are provided, along with details of how to purchase the films on DVD.
The Witches of Gambaga (2010)
Directed and produced by British documentary film maker Yaba Badoe and also produced by Nigerian feminist activist Amina Mama. The film documents the story of around 100 women condemned to live as "witches" in a camp in Gambaga, northern Ghana. Women banished from their homes amid accusations of withcraft take refuge in camps run by "Gambarana", who are beleived to have the ability to cleanse women of wtichcraft so that they may be returned home, all be it under conditons akin to house arrest. The film won best documentary at theBlack International Film Festival 2010 and was on the official selection of the Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou 2011. It is available to buy on DVD from the website, where there is also a trailer to view. A longer excerpt from the film is available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/video/2010/nov/25/witches-gambaga-ghana.
Please Don't Say My Name (2007)
In Search of My Home - Infochange Media Fellowships 2009/Centre for Communication and Development Studies, Pune, India
This film focuses on two families struggling to get by in an India that still fails to ratify the Refugee Convention. One has fled Burma and ekes out an existence insufficient to pay for the medical care desperately needed by the sick mother. They have failed to gain refugee status from UNHCR, and consequently live their lives on the fringes, unable to educate their children, and reliant on the charity of church friends to aid their survival. The second are Afghans, the father a former kite seller who was forced to leave Kabul under threat from the Taliban, to find themselves in a country which presumes them to be just that. We see Mohd. Masoud and his large family of ten struggle to get by on so little, facing discrimination in accessing accomodation, working all hours and yet continually behind on the school fees. But the difference is that Masoud and his family have refugee status, and though this has little financial benefit, it does mean he has been assisted in finding a job, and is able to access healthcare for himself and his family and education for his children. With only one attempt at gaining refugee status, and one chance to appeal, the odds are stacked critically against those hoping to claim asylum in the world's largest democracy. What shines through is the Indian state's incapacity and apparent unwillingness to address the situation whilst refugees continue to arrive on a daily basis from war-ravaged and despotic countries in the region.
DVDs of the film are available for purchase for just $2 each and all proceeds from the sales will be shared between the two refugee families in the film. The film also has a Facebook page which includes images from the film, trailers and other info about the film.
'Malaysia: Refugees for Sale', Unreported World - Channel 4 (2009)
First Broadcast: Friday 20 Nov 2009, Channel 4 (UK)
Unreported World reveals shocking evidence that Burmese refugees fleeing the country's brutal military regime are being detained and then allegedly sold by Malaysian immigration officials to Thai human traffickers. Reporter Aidan Hartley and director George Waldrum travel to Kuala Lumpur to highlight how the refugees are forced to exchange one hellish existence for another. Living in complete fear of the state, the refugees claim they are being rounded up and subjected to bloody whippings and indefinite imprisonment in overcrowded detention camps. As Unreported World reveals, for some this is just the beginning of a horrific journey into the trafficking network, where men, women and children disappear into a world of slavery and prostitution.
Other remarkable documentaries from the Unreported World series are available on the Channel 4 website though may only be available to UK viewers.