Migration and social inclusion are on-going themes that continues to dominate the social and political sphere. While everyone has an opinion on this subject, it’s important to try and see different points of view.
The topic is heavy but it’s a reality of our ever-changing world. Looking away doesn’t change anything so for those who want to look closer, here are 5 documentaries about migration and social inclusion that you need to watch.
Stranger in Paradise
A mixture of fiction and documentary, this film depicts an actor (Valentin Dhaenens) in a classroom at a detention center telling real refugees about what Europeans think of them. It is brutal, powerful cinema and has to be seen to be believed.
The Good Postman
A wonderful documentary about your average person trying to do what they believe is right. It follows the election for mayor of a tiny and dying Bulgarian village on the Turkish border. Our protagonist is running on a pro-Syrian refugee platform believing it’s the key to saving his dying town but he faces resistance from some of his fellow villagers. It’s beautiful, sad, but true, and shows us that even in the smallest and remotest of places, this topic breeds division.
Fire at Sea
Pretty much the benchmark as far as documentaries about migration go, this absorbing and acclaimed film shows the lives of the people of Lampedusa, the Italian island where many migrants from Africa and Middle East, alongside the lives of the migrants themselves. The movie switches between the two and takes no position in either, simply showing what it’s like and asking the viewer to form their own opinion.
Chinese artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei shines a light on the refugee crises occurring all over the world. Filmed across 23 countries, it’s an ambitious and exhaustive look at the plight of those who are just looking for a safe place to live.
God Grew Tired of Us
This film follows the journey of three Sudanese men who escaped the conflict of their home country and start new lives in the US. The three men come off as charming and noble as we watch them adjust to their new lives and the new culture that surrounds them. It shows what can happen when we allow people in.
For the mathematicians, this is the sixth documentary on this list. On top of that, it’s decidedly not about the migration that we’ve been talking about. But, it’s a migration nonetheless. So if the other movies were a bit heavy, sit back and witness the beauty of the migration of birds and think about how we all deserve to be this free.