People of Nowhere: Short, Powerful Film Captures the Human Dimension of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

“The pro­pa­gan­dis­t’s pur­pose is to make one set of peo­ple for­get that cer­tain oth­er sets of peo­ple are human.”
–Aldous Hux­ley (1936)

Lior Speran­deo, who has pre­vi­ous­ly direct­ed short films called Peo­ple of Mum­bai, Peo­ple of Nepal, and Peo­ple of Sene­gal, returns with a film that resists focus­ing on a sense of place. Peo­ple of Nowhere cap­tures the plight of Syr­i­an refugees, flee­ing their worn-torn coun­try for a safer life in Europe. Explain­ing how he came to make the dra­mat­ic film, Speran­deo writes:

I have heard and read dif­fer­ent opin­ions about the wave of Syr­i­an refugees who try to make their way in to the EU. Then I went to Lesvos. 7 days on the Greek Island gave me a health­i­er, human per­spec­tive on the sit­u­a­tion.  See­ing the peo­ple behind the head­lines with my own eyes, and feel­ing their deep strug­gle, broke my heart.  Are they the ‘threat’ peo­ple talk about? All I saw were coura­geous peo­ple in a time of cri­sis, look­ing for hope.  I also got to meet brave vol­un­teers from all over the world who reach out to help all peo­ple regard­less of their reli­gion, race or back­ground. That inspired me.  My hope is that this video might tear down some of the walls of bad ideas and opin­ions we have built around our­selves.

You can watch Lior’s film, a reminder that real lives are stake in the slow-mov­ing geno­cide in Syr­ia, on Vimeo here. And vis­it his Vimeo Chan­nel here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.