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Refugee Week

To mark this year's Refugee Week, BFI and Counterpoints Arts have compiled a collection of films that explore refugee experiences in the past and present and across different parts of the world.

The collection includes the 1938 portrayal of the persecution of refugees in Europe and Asia; Robert Vas' beautiful account of a Hungarian refugee's first day in London; and Syrian Love Story, the powerful and acclaimed story of a couple brought together by the conflict in Syria.

Refugee Week is an international festival of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contributions and diversity that refugees bring, and encourages a better understanding between communities.

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Refugee Week
View Dheepan
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Dheepan 2015 15

Jacques Audiard’s soul-stirring Palme d’Or winner tells of a veteran Tamil Tiger guerrilla who finds fresh violence in his new life in Paris.

117 mins France Director. Jacques Audiard

View Beats of the Antonov
Beats of the Antonov
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Beats of the Antonov 2014

A beautiful documentary capturing the lives of the communities of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, who defiantly persist with their musical traditions even while under threat of aerial bombardment.

68 mins Sudan Director. Hajooj Kuka

View The Golden Dream
The Golden Dream
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The Golden Dream 2013 12

Diego Quemada-Diez’s astounding debut feature follows four Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to escape from the slums of Guatemala City to the bright lights of Los Angeles.

107 mins Director. Diego Quemada-Diez

View A Syrian Love Story
A Syrian Love Story
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A Syrian Love Story 2015 Not Rated

The inspiring journey towards freedom of Raghda and Amer, a couple brought together by the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War.

76 mins United Kingdom Director. Sean McAllister

View I Am Nasrine
I Am Nasrine
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I Am Nasrine 2013 15

The Bafta-nominated drama follows the journey of a teenager from Iran to the UK whose newfound freedoms are imperilled by the fallout from 9/11.

93 mins United Kingdom Director. Tina Gharavi

View When I Saw You
When I Saw You
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When I Saw You 2012 12A

Following the Six-Day War in 1967, a young Palestinian refugee boy yearns to be reunited with his father and joins a band of freedom fighters.

93 mins Jordan

View Flight from Vienna
Flight from Vienna
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Flight from Vienna 1955 U

Filmmaker Denis Kavanagh teams with venerable British actor John Bentley in this thrilling drama about a refugee who becomes enrolled in espionage.

58 mins United Kingdom Director. Denis Kavanagh

View Grow Your Own
Grow Your Own
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Grow Your Own 2007 PG

A group of Merseyside gardeners take umbrage to the arrival of some refugees, but they find common cause to resist a devious corporate takeover.

100 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Laxton

View Soursweet
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Soursweet 1988 15

Hong Kong newlyweds seek a fresh start in 60s Britain, but fall foul of the Triad underworld in this adaptation of Timothy Mo’s blackly comic novel.

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Mike Newell

View The Refugee Today and Tomorrow
The Refugee Today and Tomorrow
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The Refugee Today and Tomorrow 1938

A fierce denunciation of anti-Semitic policies in Nazi Germany seen in the context of the global refugee crisis of 1938.

20 mins USA

View Return to Life
Return to Life
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Return to Life 1960

John Krish’s deeply compassionate documentary on the resettlement of refugees in Britain; made to mark World Refugee Year 1959.

29 mins United Kingdom Director. John Krish

View Refuge England
Refuge England
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Refuge England 1959

A Hungarian refugee attempts to navigate 1950s London with no English, little money and only an address on a postcard for guidance.

27 mins United Kingdom Director. Robert Vas

View Basque Refugees at Stoneham and a Holiday to Lands End
Basque Refugees at Stoneham and a Holiday to Lands End
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Basque Refugees at Stoneham and a Holiday to Lands End 1937

There's something reminiscent in this home movie from the 1930s – with refugees escaping from a distant civil war to find safety in England

13 mins United Kingdom

View Vietnamese Children Refugees
Vietnamese Children Refugees
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Vietnamese Children Refugees 1978

6,000 miles from home, after a perilous voyage to escape terror and oppression, five child refugees from Vietnam experience the magic of a British Christmas.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education
Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education
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Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education 1945

Fascinating, sometimes harrowing record of life in camps run by international aid agencies following the bombing of Shanghai by the Japanese.

21 mins United Kingdom

View Aid to China
Aid to China
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Aid to China 1945

Heart-rending British appeal film for funds to ease suffering of China's orphaned children and starving millions after Japanese invasion.

19 mins United Kingdom

View British Nurses in Serbia
British Nurses in Serbia
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British Nurses in Serbia 1915

Powerful newsreel images of displaced Serbians seeking help at a British military base during WWI.

1 mins United Kingdom

View A City of Chaos
A City of Chaos
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A City of Chaos 1927

Scenes of panic on the streets of Shanghai as Chinese citizens seek protection from Communist and Kuomintang violence behind Allied barricades.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Ostend in War-Time
Ostend in War-Time
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Ostend in War-Time 1914

Belgian soldiers and civilian refugees gather in Ostend in early WWI, before evacuating to England.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Black Girl
Black Girl

Black Girl 1965 15

The first major work by African master Ousmane Sembène, about a Senegalese maid’s despair, brims with both New Wave vitality and African heart.

65 mins Senegal Director. Ousmane Sembène

View Formosa Island of Promise
Formosa Island of Promise
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Formosa Island of Promise 1951

How did Taiwan cope with the huge influx of Chinese refugees from the mainland after the war? This report explains why the island is a symbol of hope for all developing countries.

20 mins USA

View Johnny on the Run
Johnny on the Run

Johnny on the Run 1953 U

A Polish refugee runs into trouble with two scheming thieves in this superb early work from illustrious British director Lewis Gilbert (Alfie, You Only Live Twice).

68 mins United Kingdom Director. Lewis Gilbert

View She, a Chinese
She, a Chinese

She, a Chinese 2009 18

British-Chinese director Xiaolu Guo’s story of a young woman's journey from a remote Chinese village to London, in an attempt to realise the Western consumer dream.

United Kingdom Director. Xiaolu Guo

View Welcome to Britain
Welcome to Britain

Welcome to Britain 1976

Ben Lewin’s 1976 film captures a moment in Britain's evergreen immigration debate, focusing on new arrivals at Heathrow as they wrestle with immigration law.

70 mins United Kingdom Director. Ben Lewin

View Stromboli, Land of God
Stromboli, Land of God

Stromboli, Land of God 1950 PG

In her first collaboration with Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman stars as a refugee who marries a fisherman and moves to a barren island.

100 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini

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