THE HAGUE: British photographer and storyteller Platon and the UN Refugee Agency have unveiled a collaborative film and multimedia project that explores the plight of refugees.
“Portrait of a Stranger,” an 18-minute film that features interviews with more than 20 refugees who fled conflicts and persecution around the world, premiered at the Movies That Matter International Human Rights Film Festival, which is taking place this week in The Hague, the Emirates News Agency reported.
Its creators said it seeks to reframe the narratives surrounding people who are forced to flee their homes, while also examining the universal desire to be free, safe, respected and valued, and to belong.
The refugees who appear in the film represent a diverse range of ages, nationalities, ethnicities and personal circumstances. Audiences are asked to look beyond the differences between people and instead focus on what we have in common.
“Living in exile may be their life circumstance but it is not what defines them,” said Platon. “I hope the images and voices of the refugees in this film will help audiences focus on the shared humanity that unites us, rather than the barriers that divide us — not only for these particular refugees but for all people forced to flee around the world.”
In 2022, more than 100 million people were displaced, globally.
“This film and these images are powerful reminders of who refugees really are,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “They are people like your neighbor, your friend, your colleague, like you and me, each with our own personality, our hopes, our dreams.
“By amplifying the voices of refugees, the film offers an important reality check to counter the negative public discourse we often hear about people forced to flee.”