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Films you should definitely watch at the Berlin Human Rights Film Festival 2018!

We only have ten days to go until the launch of this year's Berlin Human Rights Film Festival!🎥🕊️If you still haven't decided which screenings to attend, then here is a helpful list of migration focused movies you should definitely check out. 🔍 See you all there! 💖

8 Borders, 8 Days

Sham, a fierce single mother of two from Syria, wants to provide her children with a safe life and future. When the situation in the country critically worsens, Sham applies for a resettlement to the US, which is denied. The only possibility she is left with is to flee Syria illegally, risking her children’s lives on an uncertain and dangerous odyssey to increasingly unwelcoming Europe.

8, Lenin Avenue

Moved by a desire of justice and truth, the two filmmakers Valérie Mitteaux und Anna Pitoun, follow Salcuta Filan and her Roma family for over fifteen years. After leaving her home country, Romania, the widow and single mother of two arrives in a little community in the suburbs of Paris. Here she finds a lot of support and is able to start a new life together with her children. Nevertheless, she is faced with everyday xenophobia. The film documents the development of the family and the community while showing how discrimination against Roma people in Europe remains present and is even rising in some parts of the continent.

Erstaufnahme II

In 2014, the second reception center for Refugees in Baden-Württemberg opens the doors in Meßstetten. The village only counts 5000 inhabitants and while the staff of the reception center starts its work there, the people in the village start their talk about the new inhabitants. Soon the refugees of the center become topic number one in Meßstetten.

Human Flow

​Chinese artist Ai Weiwei gives us his powerful and inspired representation of the global refugee crisis. A flow of men, women, children who left their houses to escape war, famine or climate change´s effects with nothing left but a bunch of personal belongings bound together with hope. In this film, shot in more than 23 countries, this burning issue of our times meets the language of art to deliver images that strike for their beauty and their brutality together. Weiwei’s approach is clearly not to furnish political explanations, still less political solutions but rather to make the leap of empathy, to understand what being a migrant is like in human terms with the hope to make everyone aware that a serious action is needed; now more than ever.

Insel 36

​Insel 36 is a documentary about the protests of refugees in Berlin. For one year asylum seekers have been living here in tents by choice, to take a stand against isolation of refugees. Among them is only one woman, the Sudanese Napuli – her objective: the change of asylum law.

Lost in Lebanon

The film Lost in Lebanon follows four Syrian refugees as they fight to rebuild their lives in Lebanon, while the Syrian war flares up. The resolution of the Syrian community that currently makes up the 25 percent of the Lebanese population is incredibly strong. When the new visa laws issued by the Lebanese government threaten millions of refugees with the risk of detention or deportation the situation becomes even more hopeless.

Muhi, Generally Temporary

Muhi, a young boy from Palestine suffers from an incurable illness. His only hope is a hospital in Israel that can provide him the medical treatment he requires. The conflict in the Middle East is reflected in Muhi´s life story. The film follows Muhi over many years. Together with his grandfather, who is his caregiver and guardian, he lives in the Israeli hospital. Both of them are not allowed to leave the hospital premises. Despite his illness and living conditions, Muhi manages to find joy in life. With his grandfather as the only connection to his Palestine culture, Muhi’s identity is increasingly affected by the culture of Israel. Muhi’s mother rarely receives a permit to visit her son and needs to take care of her other children in Gaza. Imprisoned between two different worlds, Muhi relentlessly tries to find his place in the world.

Return to Afghanistan

Seven refugees once left their homeland Afghanistan. Their escape lasted for generations and took them to many different places. Now they are returning – from Germany, Pakistan and Iran – for different reasons. Some return voluntarily while others have been deported. Some want to help build up their country while others do not see a future for themselves in the midst of conflict and violence. What are the realities they will face in a country that they once left in order to find a better life?For tickets, click here

The Wait

In 2010, Rokhsar and her family fled Afghanistan to escape from the Taliban. After six months of straying across Europe they end up in Denmark, where they finally hope to live a safe and stable life. But the odyssey does not stop here: the family is denied asylum several times and threatened with deportation. Rokhsar, being the only one in her family who can speak Danish has perfectly integrated herself in her new community. She carries on her young shoulders the burden of struggling against authorities and burocracy and starts to fight for the right of her family to a decent life. Six years into their arrival in Denmark, the family is finally expecting a decision: will they be granted or denied asylum? Pressure on Rokhsar and the family is mounting immeasurably.For tickets, click here

The War Show

In March 2011, radio host Obaidah Zytoon and her friends join the protests against the oppressive regime in Syria. Knowing that what is happening will change their country forever, the group of artists and activists begin filming their lives and the events happening in Syria. However, when the regime’s violent response drives the country into a bloody civil war, their hopes for a better future are diminished by violence, imprisonment and death. Obaidah travels across the country and witnesses the rise of extremism. A deeply personal road movie that captures the fate of Syria through the intimate lens of a small circle of friends.

Watani - My Homeland

Sometimes even life in a war-torn country can provide a feeling of home. In Aleppo the father of a family of 6 is a commander in the Free Syrian Army. Leaving his homeland is not an option for him. However, realizing the increasing security risk for their children, the mother of the family soon needs to make a difficult choice. Filmed over three years Watani – My homeland tells the epic story of a family´s journey from war-torn Aleppo to Europe. Emphasizing the perspectives of the children, the film offers a gripping view on what war can do to people, even when the bombing has stopped.For tickets, click here

Welcome to Refugeestan

Almost 17 million people – refugees, displaced persons or migrants – live in camps, in a virtual country the size of the Netherlands. Yet the names of these places do not appear on any maps. The UNHCR and NGOs have developed ways of running them that are both efficient and absurd. This film explores the land of camps, from Kenya, to Tanzania, Jordan, and the Greek-Macedonian border. It reveals an immense system – managed by the UNHCR headquartered in Geneva – that combines humanitarian concerns with the management of undesirables people that rich countries want to keep out, whatever the cost. For tickets, click here

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