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Directed by Alexandra Shiva
91 min | 2018 | USA | Not Rated
Presented in English and Arabic with English subtitles.
This is Home was supported through our Fiscal Sponsorship program.
This is Home is an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in America and struggling to find their footing. Displaced from their homes and separated from loved ones, they are given eight months of assistance from the International Rescue Committee to become self-sufficient. As they learn to adapt to challenges, including the newly imposed travel ban, their strength and resilience are tested. It is a universal story, highlighted by humor and heartbreak, about what it’s like to start over, no matter the obstacles.
After surviving the traumas of war, the families arrive in Baltimore, Maryland and are met with a new set of trials. They attend cultural orientation classes and job training sessions where they must “learn America” – everything from how to take public transportation to negotiating new gender roles – all in an ever-changing and increasingly hostile political environment. Their goals are completely relatable: find a job, pay the bills, and make a better life for the next generation.
We witness the families’ struggles and triumphs up close through the drama of everyday life. Through intimate access, this cinema vérité film takes a fresh look at the classic American immigration story and challenges us to see past differences to find common ground. This is Home goes beyond the statistics, headlines, and political rhetoric to tell deeply personal stories, putting a human face on the global refugee crisis.
Winner: Grand Jury Award Narrative Feature–2018 SXSW Film Festival, New American Cinema Grand Jury Prize–2018 Seattle International Film Festival>