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Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. Human Flow is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left ...
In a documentary which is by it's very definition supposed to span the global refugee problem this documentary spends all of 5 of its 240 minutes in Africa. It visits one refugee camp in Kenya and a boat of arriving Eritreans (granted this scene is exceptionally powerful). Oh and a couple of shots of 'Africans' in Southern Italy but Ai Wen Wen doesn't bother to give them a nationality, an ethnicity, or a voice.
Two of the five largest refugee populations by country of origin come from Africa. Most counts place more than half of the top ten countries on the continent. By host country, African nations again dwarf European and some Middle Eastern ones.
Like Gaza and Lebanon, some countries host refugees for generations. The world's longest running refugee camps both exist in Kenya.
The vast majority of these people are displaced by conflict and yet Human Flow seeks to explain away the African refugee climate to the unpolitical cause of climate change.
The platform is enormous, and yet in a documentary that seeks to highlight complexity, misses an enormous opportunity to tell the many diverse and complex African refugee stories.
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