Movie Night: Refugee Week

Human flow - the journey of migrationHuman Flow is a 2017 German documentary film co-produced and directed by Ai Weiwei about the current global refugee crisis. In the film the viewer is taken to over 20 countries to understand both the scale and the personal impact of this massive human migration. It was shot using various technologies, including drones, cameras and iPhones. As part of Shepparton’s Refugee Week observance, Human Flow will be screened for Free at Village Cinemas on 19 June 2019.

Human Flow brings to light the obvious gravity of the current global refugee crisis and uses interviews from experts and refugees alike. The film shows various refugees in times of crisis and how refugee flows can be classified into four causation categories: wars between states, ethnic conflicts, non-ethnic conflicts and flights from repression. Reflecting on the sheer volume of refugees currently living in our world today, the film deeply considers both individuals who are forced to migrate and those who are internally displaced i.e. forced to flee from their homes but remain within the territory of their own country.


Human Flow screenshot
Drone Shot of Refugees fleeing

The film also reflects upon and questions the current global response to the refugee crisis. Shedding light unto ‘shared responsibility’, Human Flow shows how nations close to areas with many refugees require help for accommodation and how many wealthier nations are hesitant to provide the needed aid. It conveys global responses to border closings and the effects on refugees, such as the closure of the Republic of Macedonia border and the refugees becoming stuck in Greece’s Idomeni border camp.

Drawing on issues within refugee camps across the world, the film shows the vast numbers of individuals residing in camps such as the now defunct Calais Jungle outside Calais in France and Dadabb in north-eastern Kenya, with many having minimal basic human rights and resources.

Ghastly facts and mind-numbing numbers continuously flash on the screen as more boats arrive upon the shores. Our first images are of the Greek island of Lesbos, a frequent first perch for many Syrian refugees, where there appears to be a semblance of procedure. There are cups of hot tea and those emergency blankets made of golden foil, which unfortunately don’t align with the migrants’ fortunes.


Human Flow Screenshot - lives left in limbo
Lives in limbo … Human Flow. Photograph: AC Films/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

While telling the story Ai constantly focuses on the relation between refugees and individual human rights. He has multiple individuals seen crying on camera, sharing their grief and experiences from their dangerous voyages, their fears and the deaths of their loved ones.

Event Details:

Program: Screening of Movie Human Flow
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Time: 5:15pm – 8:15pm
Location: Village Cinemas, Stewart St, Shepparton
Cost: Free
Bookings: Online at Eventbrite
Note: This movie is suitable for a mature audience.
Catering: a light snack will be served beforehand.
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The Protestant Church in Germany and Palermo (Italy) Mayor Leoluca Orlando have issued a joint declaration calling for a European distribution mechanism for boat refugees.

Currently there is no Europe-wide distribution mechanism to accommodate refugees rescued in the Mediterranean in the European Union. The declaration calls for a political emergency solution this summer, and urges a group of European Union member states to act as a “coalition of the willing” and develop a sustainable migration policy. Read more here:


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