This thought-provoking story about a young migrant prepared to swim across the ocean to find his love is more relevant than ever and will move you in a profound way. Bilal, a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee, has travelled across Europe to reunite with his girlfriend who recently emigrated to England. But when he finally reaches the north coast of France, he's prevented by local authorities from going any further. Undeterred, Bilal decides he will swim across the Channel, and starts training at the local swimming pool, where he meets Simon (Vincent Lindon), a middle-aged, soon-to-be-divorced swimming instructor. Despite their differing ages and cultures, they'll discover that they have much in common.
Live and Become
Inspired by the 1984 operation by the Israeli secret service that airlifted thousands of Falashas, Ethiopian Jews displaced by civil war and famine, to seek solace and refuge in Israel, Live and Become is an emotional and heartwarming story about identity and integration, carried out by its impressive young cast. An Ethiopian Christian widow urges the mother of a deceased boy to take her 9-year-old son and instructs him to 'become’ Jewish in order to survive. Once in Israel, he encounters isolation and loneliness as he longs for his mother and stumbles in a society that does not fully accept him. The film recounts his journey as a young boy, a teenager and a fully grown adult as he learns to live with the drastic changes of his adopted home.
Four years after his refreshing teenage romance Show Me Love, Swedish director Lukas Moodyson explores sexual slavery traffic in a harsh but powerful movie. Pretty 16-year-old Lilya is excited to be going to America with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Until her mother announces her that she won't be part of the trip. Left alone in her bleak Russian home town, with no-one who cares about her except her young neighbour Volodya, Lilya drifts and beds men aimlessly around the dance clubs until she meets a nice young man who offers to take her to Sweden, where work and a life of luxury awaits. She’s in for a rude shock.
Once You're Born, You Can No Longer Hide
This coming-of-age movie nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2005 offers a confronting and eye-opening look into illegal immigration in Italy. One night, during a sailing trip through the Mediterranean, 10-year-old Sandro, the only son of a wealthy Italian entrepreneur, falls overboard. Although given up for dead, Sandro, instead, has been rescued by a fishing boat carrying illegal immigrants to Italian shores. Thus begins a strenuous return to Italy, at the end of which nothing will ever be the same.
Directed by Tony Gatlif (Exiles) and starring Marie-Josée Croze (The Barbarian Invasions) and James Thiérrée (Charlie Chaplin's grandson), Korkoro is based on real-life stories of Romani people who escaped the Nazis with the help from French villagers during Second World War. Upon reaching a town where they traditionally stop for a few months and work in vineyards, a Romani family learn that a new law forbids them from being nomadic and are soon arrested by the Police and placed in an internment camp. However, the town's mayor and schoolteacher, who do everything to rescue them. Like all Tony Gatlif movies, and despite the hard subject, Korkoro is filled with music and an irrepressible joie-de-vivre.
Noodle is the emotional, feel-good story of two lost souls finding each other. At 37, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well-regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned 7-year-old Chinese boy, whose migrant-worker mother has been summarily deported from Israel. While Miri, with the help of her coworkers, desperately tries to relocate the boy's mum and reunite them, she and the little boy, renamed Noodle, form a deep bond, despite not speaking a word of each other's language.
Nowhere in Africa
This family saga, based on the autobiography by Stephanie Zweig and winner of Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2003 Oscars and beautifully shot on location, tells the story of a Jewish family in pre-WWII Germany. As Walter and Jettel witness the ascension of Nazis in Europe, they decide to flee their home with daughter Regina and find refuge in Kenya (the movie was beautifully shot on location). While the little girl takes straight away to her new surroundings and forms a strong friendship with the farm's cook, Owuor, her parents struggle – particularly Jettel, who had been used to a life of luxury.
During WWII, as the Germans reach Paris, a panicked Odile flees with her two children and heads south on the overcrowded roads, until their car is destroyed when German Stuka planes machine gun the column of refugees. Having lost everything, they have to continue by foot and soon meet a lone teenage boy, who leads them into a nearby forest to protect them from the aerial bombardment. Despite feeling something a bit off about the young man, Odile is not insensitive to his charm and resourcefulness. Both Emmanuelle Béart (Nathalie) and Gaspar Ulliel (Saint Laurent) are superb in this story about crossing the boundaries, physical and moral.
Adapted from Monica Ali’s award-winning novel, Brick Lane is the story of young Bangladeshi Nazneem, who is sent to London in the 1980s, leaving behind her beloved sister and a care-free life in her village, for an arranged marriage. Trapped in her flat in Brick Lane, East London, and in a loveless marriage with the middle-aged Chanu, complete with two daughters, she fears her soul is quietly dying. Until one day, Karim, a young, hot-headed British-Bengladeshi, knocks on her door and turns her life upside down. A beautiful story with moving performances from its leads: Tannishtha Chatterjee (soon to star alongside cricketer-turned-singer Brett Lee in UnIndian) and Satish Kaushik (Nazneem's husband).
Nominated for an Academy Award, Želary tells the story of medical student Eliska, who is secretly involved in the resistance movement lead by her surgeon boyfriend. When the Gestapo moves in, Eliska’s boyfriend flees forcing her to seek refuge in Zelary, a remote mountain village. City-girl, Eliska reluctantly takes on a new identity as Hana, the wife of woodcutter Joza. But slowly, Eliska falls in love with country life and much to her surprise also with Joza. Watch it for its beautifully shot scenery and strong performances from its leads.
Wallander: The Container
This Wallander episode from the Swedish series adapted from the best-selling "Scandinoir" novels by Henning Mankell, begins with a semi-trailer, found dumped near a lake in the south of Sweden. When Wallander's daughter Linda goes out to investigate, she discovers a container full of dead people, and one crying baby. The investigation leads Kurt Wallander and his team to a convent where the nuns have been assisting illegal refugees into Sweden via Poland.
Don't miss Season 3 of Go Back To Where You Came From, 28-30 July, 8.30pm on SBS.
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