13 October 2011

Moving to Mars

"Moving to Mars follows two refugee families from Burma over the course of a year that will change their lives completely. Forced from their homeland by the repressive military junta, they have lived in a Thai refugee camp for many years. A resettlement scheme offers them the chance of a new life, but their new home, in the British city of Sheffield, will be different to everything they have ever known.

With intimate access, this feature-length documentary from Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo) depicts the families' moving and sometimes humorous struggles with 21st century Britain. Their stories give us a unique insight into the experiences of displaced people throughout the UK, whilst showing the human consequences of Burma's political unrest."
- from the official website

Doing what I do, I get to learn about all these amazing events that I (am about to) blog about, such as the screening of "Moving to Mars" - a movie I have wanted to see for AGES! - by UNHCR and the UN Information Service (UNIS) at the Vienna International Centre. UNHCR even set up a refugee tent in the rotunda, the main entrance for most people working in the complex. Although the tent wrongly suggests that most refugees live in camp settings when most actually are so-called "self-settled refugees", it's fine with me as long as it gets people to stop for a moment and think about the experience of being displaced.

The documentary itself was very interesting. It contrasted very well two entirely different worlds. You get a culture shock just by watching how two families from rural Burma resettle to Sheffield. The head of one household holds a degree in Civil Engineering and has to go to back to university because his diploma was in his house when it was burned down. I cannot imagine having to redo my studies... In any case, the documentary is not too dark and has its light moments. You want to watch this movie!

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