Human Flow 12A

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 23 December 2017

‘An urgent, deep soak in the current refugee crisis’ from artist, activist and director Ai Weiwei that captures the greatest human displacement since World War II in a breathtakingly epic film journey. Being a refugee is much more than a political status. It is the most pervasive kind of cruelty that can be exercised against a human being. You are forcibly robbing this human being of all aspects that would make human life not just tolerable but meaningful in many ways. Over 65 million people in the world today have been forcibly displaced from their homes. If children grow up without any hope, without any prospects for the future, without any sense of them being able to make something out of their lives then they will become very vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation including radicalisation. Witness the global journey of millions of men, women and children. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, Human Flow follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. It’s a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future. Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever. This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity?

‘Gorgeous shots in Greece, Calais and elsewhere, many filmed from drones, create a visual tone poem that proves both epic and highly human. Ai Weiwei’s camera shows us the enormity of the problem – now it’s our turn to do something.’ The Guardian.


Ai Weiwei
140 mins
Hiba Abed, Israa Abboud, Rabu Abu Sondos

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