PBS Recognizes World Refugee Day with Documentary Releases

The goal is to share the real human stories behind the headlines, and to foster conversations about issues like immigration, religious diversity and U.S. refugee policy.
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Few will need reminding of why the world marks June 20 as World Refugee Day. The day is designed to raise awareness of forcibly displaced people across the world, including the more than 4.8 million Syrians that have fled civil war in their country and the thousands who continue to attempt to escape to a better life across the Aegean Sea.

PBS is opening its 30th season of the documentary filmmaking series POV by showcasing three feature films and two shorts about the world’s ongoing wars and current refugee crisis. The goal is to share the real human stories behind the headlines, and to foster conversations about issues like immigration, religious diversity and U.S. refugee policy.

The film

Dalya’s Other Country

tells the story of members of a family displaced by the Syrian conflict who then must remake themselves after the parents separate. Teenager Dalya goes to Catholic high school and her mother, Rudayna, enrolls in college as they attempt to navigate the new world they are in while adhering to their Muslim values.

Radio host Obaidah Zytoon looks at the realities of Syria in

The War Show

. Through the lens of a small circle of friends and journalists,

The War Show

starts with the Arab Spring protests in 2011 and takes an expansive, multiyear look at how the country spiraled into bloody civil war.

After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are getting ready for a siege in the film

Last Men in Alepp

o. Through the eyes of the White Helmets, a group of volunteer rescue workers, the film gives a glimpse of the daily life, death and struggle that’s happening in the streets of this city.

The Oscar-nominated short film

4.1 Miles

spends a day with Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard who is caught in the middle of a refugee crisis as he and his crew attempt to save thousands of migrants from drowning in the Aegean Sea.

In the documentary From

Damascus to Chicago

, two young Syrian siblings who have resettled in Chicago take on new American experiences — like enrolling in a dance class — while their family attempts to navigate and thrive in a new city and country.

Resources with each of the films include discussion guides, reading lists and lesson plans designed to facilitate conversations about the issues



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