Film series: Human Flow—Stories of Global Migration

Student working on film projector

image from Midnight Traveler

In conjunction with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum’s exhibition “how the light gets in” - contemporary artworks that look at the movement of people across the globe and the welcome cracks that develop in our notions of borders and nation states - and the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs' “Migrations: A Global Grand Challenge," Cornell Cinema presents this semester-long film series, comprised of recent documentary and feature films from around the world, all Ithaca premieres with the exception of Transit and The Farewell. Providing a special opportunity to learn about the people, personalities and circumstances behind the faces we see and headlines we read every day in the news, the series offers a wide-ranging glimpse of im/migrants from Africa, Asia, Central America and the Middle East.

According to the United Nations, the world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, estimated at 70 million people at the end of 2018. Among them are 30 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.The series explores the many reasons individuals migrate, including wars and gang violence, political and religious persecution, climate change resulting in droughts, floods and other natural disasters, and economic hardship. Some of the films draw comparisons with historical moments lest we forget what can happen when we turn our backs on global injustices, others draw inspiration from the migrants themselves, who display extraordinary resilience, even humor, in the face of extreme hardship, and others cast a light on individuals who are trying to help or those erecting barriers in the face of the crisis.

Andrea Inselmann, the curator of the Museum’s exhibition, will be on hand at the first screening, The River and the Wall, to talk about the work in the show and how it offers additional viewpoints with which to consider this massive human flow.

Cosponsored with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Latin American Studies Program, the Latina/o Studies Program and Cornell Welcomes Refugees.