iwonder: June highlights
Doco streamer turns its focus to World Refugee Day with new films in June.
This June, iwonder turns its focus to World Refugee Day on June 20th with the launch of a number of new films that shine a light on refugees and those who support them in their search for safety, security and the right to a life free from fear and persecution.
On 18 April 2015, a nameless boat sank off the coast of Libya, killing an estimated 800 migrants. It was the worst tragedy in the Mediterranean since World War II. The Italian government took the unprecedented decision to surface the wreck and try to identify the victims. A hoodie, pants, a belt: that’s what’s left of victim ’Number 387’. From an examination of bones, 3D reconstruction and cross-checking DNA, an investigating team resolves to do everything possible to uncover the victims’ stories and grant them the dignity of being buried with a name. Who are they? Who are we?
Every day, teenagers who have fled their war-torn countries try to cross Europe’s borders in search of protection and a better life. They travel through a shadow world of minefields, wild animals, fast-flowing rivers, smugglers and border guards, desperately trying to win what they call ‘The Game’. With fences raised across Europe, seeking asylum has become almost impossible; reaching a safe haven has become more difficult than ever. Risking their lives, the teenagers undertake a treacherous journey that often takes months or even years. Along the way, they grow up fast. Their journey takes them through the whole of Europe: from Greece to North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Italy to France and the Netherlands. ‘Shadow Game’ is a mosaic story in which the experiences of many young refugees on the road are forged together into one universal tale. Will they overcome the numerous obstacles they face? And will they find a new home?
In 2011, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas revealed in the New York Times that he was an undocumented immigrant. In a powerful coming out article he challenged the perceptions of ’illegals’ and exposed the trials of life in citizenship limbo. This film chronicles his experiences from revealing his status, through to his transformation into an activist. We follow him as he reconnects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen for 20 years, and witness the bittersweet moment when his hard work appears to have paid off – an act is passed granting visas to undocumented migrants brought to the US as children – only for Antonio to realise that he is four months too old to benefit.
On The Line
Every year, over 100,000 Mexicans living in the USA are deported to Mexico. Many of them have grown up and spent decades in America, working, paying taxes, starting families. Some can’t even speak Spanish. In a matter of days, they find themselves torn away from their children and loved ones and escorted across the border, unable to return home. The border town of Tijuana has become an airlock between two worlds, where the broken lives of migrants end up. For many of these deportees, the only work available is in relocated American call centres. They spend their days answering calls from American consumers, pretending to be working from America, and their evenings looking at the lights from across the border, trying to maintain contact with their families left behind. Rocio, Richard and Sergio are just three of those affected. This film follows them for nearly a year as they struggle to make sense of the situation they find themselves in, and attempt to rebuild their lives.