What Do We Know About Refugees? Film Review

 

Film Review By #MatthewSawyer

3/5

What do we know about refugees? Is a 2022 documentary by Sara Alavi looking in depth at the general public’s most controversial misconceptions around global forced migrants and refugees. The documentary is directed, written and produced by Alavi and the one thing that really comes across is the passion Alavi has to raise awareness of the challenges faced by refugees. Alavi is a humanitarian and you can tell she takes her work very seriously.

Throughout this documentary, we are introduced to several people with different backgrounds and various parts to play in this very important fight to help combat some of the stereotypes and misconceptions around refugees. Alavi keeps the film moving along nicely as we move from sit down interviews, to statistics, to various pictures and drone footage of some of the horrific tragedies that these refugees have faced.

What Do We Know About Refuges Poster

Unfortunately, there are some issues with the production value. This film clearly wasn’t made with a huge budget, but that’s not always a big problem in a documentary. However, the camerawork can be distracting. It seems that the film was shot on a smartphone or a lower-end DSLR which loses focus at points. Some of the transitions between scenes are done with a wipe or similar which is reminiscent of a PowerPoint presentation.

The film would have benefitted from more ‘showing’ and less ‘telling’. It would’ve been great to see more of the lives of the refugees that were interviewed, instead of just hearing about it or listening to long ‘myth versus fact’ segments. 

However, a lot of these points are made redundant by the message of support for refugees that the film so passionately conveys. The scenes of refugees meeting up in English learning groups and the hard work people are carrying out at the South Texas office for refugees show us a different side to life as a refugee than that which is portrayed by the media. We meet Dr Hoda Sana, whose parents were refugees. She is now helping to build laboratories in Afghanistan and make the country a better place. 

Overall, this film really shows that we must overcome the prejudices and misinformation and help the people who need it most. It may not be the flashiest or biggest budgeted documentary you will ever see, but that doesn’t make it any less effective and I think the team behind this should be very proud of themselves.

 

Film Review By #MatthewSawyer

3/5

What do we know about refugees? Is a 2022 documentary by Sara Alavi looking in depth at the general public’s most controversial misconceptions around global forced migrants and refugees. The documentary is directed, written and produced by Alavi and the one thing that really comes across is the passion Alavi has to raise awareness of the challenges faced by refugees. Alavi is a humanitarian and you can tell she takes her work very seriously.

Throughout this documentary, we are introduced to several people with different backgrounds and various parts to play in this very important fight to help combat some of the stereotypes and misconceptions around refugees. Alavi keeps the film moving along nicely as we move from sit down interviews, to statistics, to various pictures and drone footage of some of the horrific tragedies that these refugees have faced.

What Do We Know About Refuges Poster

Unfortunately, there are some issues with the production value. This film clearly wasn’t made with a huge budget, but that’s not always a big problem in a documentary. However, the camerawork can be distracting. It seems that the film was shot on a smartphone or a lower-end DSLR which loses focus at points. Some of the transitions between scenes are done with a wipe or similar which is reminiscent of a PowerPoint presentation.

The film would have benefitted from more ‘showing’ and less ‘telling’. It would’ve been great to see more of the lives of the refugees that were interviewed, instead of just hearing about it or listening to long ‘myth versus fact’ segments. 

However, a lot of these points are made redundant by the message of support for refugees that the film so passionately conveys. The scenes of refugees meeting up in English learning groups and the hard work people are carrying out at the South Texas office for refugees show us a different side to life as a refugee than that which is portrayed by the media. We meet Dr Hoda Sana, whose parents were refugees. She is now helping to build laboratories in Afghanistan and make the country a better place. 

Overall, this film really shows that we must overcome the prejudices and misinformation and help the people who need it most. It may not be the flashiest or biggest budgeted documentary you will ever see, but that doesn’t make it any less effective and I think the team behind this should be very proud of themselves.