Human Flow is a documentary film that was produced and directed by Ai Weiwei.
He started to produce the movie while he was on Vacation Greek Island after getting his
passport from the Chinese authorities. The main theme of the film is to bring to light the
global crisis of the refugees and the problems that they are facing. The director made sure to
include in the film videos shots from over 20 countries that are faced with the refugee
problems so that the viewers can understand the scale of the problem and the impact of this
massive human movement from place to place.
1. What were the main messages of the film?
The first main message from the film is highlighting the causes of migration or
moving of the refugees. The film categorizes the reasons for fleeing from their home areas
due to wars between countries, ethnic clashes, non-ethnic conflicts and people fleeing from
repression as the four major causes. In doing so, the film also focused to show the volume of
the refugees that live in the current world today. The film categorizes the refugees further
and shows their different levels. There are those that are internally displaced which means
that they fled their homes but are still in their home country. However, there are others that
that escaped and found themselves in other countries borders.
The film also focused on introducing the world to the problems and the difficulties
that the refugees undergo. The directors travelled and filmed across the world to find the
issues that are within most of the refugee camps. The film specifically focused on the Calais
Jungle and the Dadaab in Northern Kenya. The film also focused on highlighting the relation
existent between refugees and human rights.
The film other theme is to reflect on how the world and the relevant authorities have
responded to the issue of the refugees. The film also shows that everyone has a shared
responsibility when dealing or responding to the issues of the refugees. However, he also
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shows that other wealthier countries are still reluctant to fully step in and help some countries
that are struggling with the issue.
2. Were the messages presented in a persuasive and convincing way – eg what evidence was
First, the film was a documentary. It used a lot of refugees as their cast, most of
whom narrated their individual experiences as the main themes of film. Furthermore, the film
included other experts and dignitaries including the Princes Dana Firas as the cast of the film.
What impressed was the films ability to capture and interviewed the refugees in their real
settings either on the move or in the camps.
The story is told in the most persuasive and convincing way that keeps the audience
glued and empathize for the characters in the fil. The film shows the refugees on camera
sharing their experiences and give and some of them crying as they recall what happened to
them. It shows how they have to dangerously move through with their lives and they have
painfully watched the deaths of their loved ones. The film was able to draw empathy from
the viewers by focusing on the human aspects and the sad parts thus casting a forced
humanization from the audience.
The movie used both standard cameras and iPhone to film the movies thus was able to
capture many things in their original format. Additionally, the movie was able to use the
experts for their opinions as they have been dealing with the issues for an extended period of
time. It makes it even more convincing.
. Reflecting back, what did you learn from the film?
The movie offered me a clear intimate and sobering perspective on the global refugee
problem in the world by exposing the problems and the hardships that the refugees go
through. It was able to highlight to me what other countries are doing and the main cause of
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the refugee’s crisis in the world. The film was able to bring back to me my human side. I
have been living in ignorance of other people suffering. Learning from the film that if we are
able to mind other people and highlight and talk about the problems they could be helped. As
a result of the film, government agencies, NGOs and other corporations launched their
activities to help the refugees in the area
Through a particular analogy of dams and stopping flooding, I could see how the
current strategies used to respond to refugee’s issue were similar to the dams and the floods.
While the camps may work for now just like the dams, the problems that will be presented in
the future could be more catastrophic. I learned that we should, therefore, address the issue
from the root causes rather than addressing the outwards symptoms that could be misleading.