Published: 22nd June 2022

Films to explore this Refugee Week

Refugee Week is an annual UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. The theme this year is Healing and promises a celebration of community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again.

To mark this, we’ve collated a selection of films that place a lens over the journey and struggle refugees face. 


very mild threat, injury detail

Encanto is an animated adventure in which a young woman resolves to save her magical family's home after discovering a sinister threat.

injury detail

A man's face and hands swell up after bee stings.

threat and horror

A woman is distraught when, it is implied, swordsmen kill her husband. The threat of homelessness hangs over a family. There are scary scenes in which the resourceful heroine is menaced by a hooded man, trapped in a room filling with sand, leaps over chasms, and escapes a building collapsing around her. This threat is regularly punctuated by comedy and song.

flashing/flicking lights

This work contains flashing images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.

There is infrequent rude humour. Slapstick is also infrequent. There are scenes of emotional upset when a young woman is briefly rejected by her family. Language includes use of 'jeez'.


infrequent strong language, racism, references to sex and sexual violence

Limbo is a British comedy drama film in which a Syrian musician awaits the result of his asylum application on a remote Scottish island.


There are occasional scenes of racist and discriminatory behaviour. There is infrequent casual use of racist terms including ‘paki’, and in a comic scene a man reads from a list of racist ‘banned words’ which includes ‘camel jockey’, ‘towel heid’, ‘goat f**ker’, ‘Osama’ and ‘shit Aladdin’. The work carries a clear anti-racist message.


There is infrequent use of strong language (‘f**k’). Milder terms include ‘wank’, ‘shit’, ‘balls’ and ‘flange’.


There are infrequent moderate sex references including to masturbation.

sexual violence and sexual threat

In one scene people make racist comments associating Middle Eastern refugees with acts of rape. In another scene a man gropes a woman’s behind during a class demonstration of inappropriate social interaction; the woman slaps him in response.

A man discovers a dead body; there is no sign of injury, and it is implied that the person died of exposure.

Human Flow

images of real dead bodies

Human Flow is a documentary following the current global refugee crisis, the largest since WWII.

disturbing images

There are infrequent images of real dead bodies, including a shot of a corpse with some gory detail to its torso in a sequence discussing conflict in Iraq.

Infrequent verbal references are made to rape, along with war and famine as reasons refugees flee from their homes. Some images of the conditions and experiences of refugees may be upsetting for some viewers.

There is infrequent very mild bad language ('hell').


infrequent images of real dead bodies, sexual threat

Flee is an animated documentary film in which a man recounts his experiences of escaping from Afghanistan to Denmark as a child refugee.

His House

injury detail, discrimination, threat, violence

As a young couple from war-torn South Sudan seeks asylum and a fresh start in England, they’re tormented by a sinister force living in their new home.

For Sama

disturbing scenes, images of real dead bodies

For Sama is a documentary exploring Waad Al-Kateab's life during the uprising in Aleppo.

disturbing images

There are graphic images of the severely injured and dead, including sight of a man with a bloodied, battered head after an explosion. There are scenes of bloodied, injured children and adults. There are frequent images of real dead bodies being handled and moved. In one scene, two young boys are filmed as they grieve the death of their young brother after a blast. A woman is filmed having a C-Section after becoming injured in a blast, and doctors are shown attempting to resuscitate the baby for some length of time until the baby is brought back to life. These scenes may cause distress to some viewers.

There are distressing scenes in which people flee bomb blasts.

To find out where you can stream, buy or rent these films, check out Find Any Film.