Bettina Barillas 19 July 2018

My heart, the cold has already killed me

Films

Nhliziyo yami amakhaza asengi bulele

In the daily barrage of statistics, data, and verbiage that documents the “refugee crisis” around the world, it is becoming easier to forget the faces of these people who, in daring bids to escape violence and poverty, are travelling towards their hope of a better future. Hidden behind the facebook post or the outraged talking head are people with complicated stories of joy and loss, tragedy and happiness, laughter and tears. They are us and we are them. 

In these stories, we encounter people from all over the world as they journey towards a better life and encounter their struggles and challenges as they seek a new home, in a journey that leaves many longing for what is no longer and what could be.

Eighth Continent (Greece)

This documentary sets the stage for this film list and shows us the immense scale of migrants fleeing their homelands by turning its lens to an old abandoned dump filled with thousands upon thousands of life jackets from the waves of people entering Europe through Greece.

Eighth Continent (Greece)

Drexciya (Burkina Faso, Germany)

Thomas is a human trafficker, illegally transporting European refugees across the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Africa. One of his trips takes a disastrous turn and he is the sole survivor of a tragic shipwreck. He finds himself, alone, washed up on the African coast and starts a journey towards the closest city, Drexciya.

Drexciya (Burkina Faso, Germany)

The Wind (Syria)

The wind scatters a group of people away from their home and sets them on a long, dangerous journey in this gripping stop motion film. The filmmakers use sounds collected from the thousands of youtube videos depicting violence amongst the Syrian people in an effort to ask the viewer: What does it mean to be abandoned? What does it mean to abandon everything?

The Wind (Syria)

An Incomplete Guide to Finding Home (Mexico)

A moving narration on the definition of a home is superimposed over footage showing the night sky of Mexico City during the descent of the filmmaker’s flight. The monologue delves into the many levels of home: global, national, city, community, body, and molecular.

An Incomplete Guide to Finding Home (Mexico)

File Under Miscellaneous (First Nations, United States)

In this chilling tale, a Mi’gMag man pays the ultimate price to assimilate in an Orwellian dystopian society. In this world, anything—including a new identity—can be bought. Like many other marginalized others before him, our main character elects to undergo a gruesome surgery to rid himself of his red skin and begin his transition into the white man.

File Under Miscellaneous (First Nations, United States)

Crumbs (Ethiopia)

After a devastating world war, Birdy and Candy have eked out an existence from what remains. We follow two of them as they become more and more curious about a long-dormant spaceship that has rested in the sky since before the big war. When the vessel begins to show signs of activity, Birdy begins to believe that Candy himself is from the ship and he starts a journey to discover himself. What follows is a surrealist tale of love, sacrifice, and the discovery of self. 

Crumbs (Ethiopia)

About the author

Bettina is a communications consultant, whose work supports social change initiatives in health and clean energy in southern Africa and Latin America. Her work has seen her teaching photography courses to youth in villages across Botswana, writing content for high ranking officials working in HIV/AIDS programming, and building business case studies for clean energy investments across southern Africa. She is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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