The film was part of the festival’s Global Shorts Forum on Immigration, focusing on “issues that affect us as a global community”, and director Alan Thompson was there to join the post-screening discussion.
Comments from the audience revealed shock at some of the harsh realities facing refugees in the U.S., despite the fact that they entered the country legally and were granted citizenship. Alan pointed out that “most people were just happy to be alive”.
When asked why he made the film, Alan spoke about how he was inspired by Tzu Chi’s aid for refugees around the world. Through this film, he “wanted to investigate not the stories about babies washed up on beaches, but more ‘successful’ stories and the struggles these people still face.”
People were interested to hear about any developments in the lives of the refugees interviewed during the making of the film, and were happy to hear that George Tarr, from Liberia, will graduate from college in the spring of 2017; that Fidel Nshombo, from the Congo, continues to sensitize people to the traumas endured by refugees through his poetry; that Muyakazi who lost his job as a result of his adherence to religious traditions has thankfully found another in Twin Falls, and an attempt to close a refugee center there failed due to lack of support.
After the Q & A period had ended, the discussion continued, as many people still had a lot of questions that “The Resettled” provoked. The recent destruction of the Calais Jungle was a topic of concern, brought to mind by the startling scenes from the migrant camp that were shown in the film.
All in all, everyone was genuinely interested in the well-being of refugees, and loved “The Resettled”.
Read about the previous screenings of this timely documentary, and learn more about the work done by the organizations helping refugees in America that were introduced in the film, the Newcomers Health Program in San Francisco; College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center in Twin Falls; and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants that has offices across the country.
You can also watch the entire “The Resettled” documentary series where refugees from Iraq, Vietnam and Burma, the Congo, andLiberia share their riveting stories of escape and finding safe haven in a foreign land, then the challenging journey of building a better future for themselves and the next generation.