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 Today and TomorrowRefugee Today and Tomorrow

Documentary193817 mins

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

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Return to LifeReturn to Life

Documentary196029 mins

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

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Refuge EnglandRefuge England

Drama195925 mins Location: London

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

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Basque Refugees at Stoneham and a Holiday to Lands EndBasque Refugees at Stoneham and a Holiday to Lands End

Amateur film193713 minsSilent

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

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Vietnamese Children RefugeesVietnamese Children Refugees

Non-Fiction19785 mins Location: Birmingham

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.

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Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their EducationRefugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education

War194528 minsSilent Location: Shanghai

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

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Aid to ChinaAid to China

Charity appeal19453 mins

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

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British Nurses in SerbiaBritish Nurses in Serbia

Non-Fiction19151 mins

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

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A City of ChaosA City of Chaos

Non-Fiction19271 minsSilent Location: Shanghai

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

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Ostend in War-Time Ostend in War-Time

Non-Fiction19141 minsSilent

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

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Formosa Island of PromiseFormosa Island of Promise

Documentary195117 mins

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.

More Refugee Week films in our Rentals collection.

More Refugee Week films in our Subscription collection.