Attenborough Advocates Film Recommendations

The Attenborough Advocates is a student volunteer group who were provided an exciting opportunity to work with us at the Attenborough Arts Centre and explore the themes of our current exhibition ‘In Which Language Do We Dream’ to create a student event for you. This exhibition revolves around the use of photography to document the personal journey experienced by the al-Hindawi family as they rebuilt their life after leaving Syria during the war.
As students, the advocate group realised that there were some experiences that related to their journey moving to university and becoming acquainted to a new environment, sometimes even a new culture. Other themes discussed were: what makes a home; navigating cultural identity for first generation immigrant and blending cultures; evolving family dynamics; and reuniting with lost/long distance family members.
Movie poster for Luca showing a animated boy lying in the ocean looking up at the sky.

Luca (2021)

Submitted by:
Language: English

Genre: =

Where you can watch: Disney+

Summary:

 

Why did you choose this film:

One of the projects the advocates have worked on was compiling a list of films and shows that reflected the themes discovered in the exhibition. Some are a light-hearted approach to introduce difficult topics to people of all ages and others provide direct insight into intricate feelings and stories of those in a similar situation to the al-Hindawi family.

Kannathil Muthamittal, 2002 (A peck on the cheek)

Submitted by: Kumaresh Nallasamy
Language: Tamil

Genre: Action, Drama, War

Where you can watch: Prime Video

Summary:

Follows the emotional journey of an adopted little girl who travels back to her war ridden birth country, Sri Lanka, to find answers about where she comes from and who her biological mother is.

Why did you choose this film:

‘This film showcases the hardship of forced migration and the aftermath of war’.

Families in war are often forced to make sacrifices and face difficult separations. This movie reflects some of the stories in ‘In Which Language Do We Dream’ of the al-Hindawi family as their extended relatives are all divided across several countries.  However, in present day the al-Hindawi family are able to maintain contact using modern day technology and stay up to date with family news and milestones.

The movie poster for Limbo (2020) showing a man standing in the bottom right corner, with graphic pink lines behind him connecting images of different people and events.

Limbo (2020)

Submitted by: Rachel Graves
Language:  English + Arabic

Genre: Drama

Where you can watch: Prime Video

Summary:

An offbeat observation of the refugee experience. On a fictional remote Scottish island, a group of new arrivals await the results of their asylum claims. Among them is Omar, a young Syrian musician burdened by the weight of his grandfather’s oud, which he has carried all the way from his homeland.

Announcing the arrival of a major homegrown talent in filmmaker Ben Sharrock, Limbo is a deadpan delight bursting with humanity. Illuminating the hopes and hardships of the refugee experience, this wry, poignant, and bracingly funny ode to the kindness of strangers is the British film of the year.

Why did you choose this film:

The film gives an insight into some of the experiences that asylum seekers and refugees face after arriving in the UK, and the cultural differences they have to navigate. The main character is a Syrian refugee, who struggles to keep in touch with his family, some of whom are in Turkey and others who chose to remain in Syria. It is also interesting in its portrayal of the local residents of the Scottish island, and their differing responses to their new neighbours.

Movie poster for Minari, showing a family stood together holding the children, in front of tall grass.

Minari

Submitted by: Anonymous
Language:  Korean + English

Genre: Drama

Where you can watch: Prime Video

Summary:

This story follows a Korean family who begin life on a farm in 1980s rural Arkansas. However, new challenges start cropping up as the family navigates cultural unease, fleeting hopes, and constant threat of financial disaster.

Why did you choose this film:

This movie explores how creating a new home comes with constant challenges and sacrifices that is continuous in the background of building a family life. There is also an added insight into how different generations navigate the same situations.

Movie poster for Bend it Like Beckham, showing a women in a sari with a pair of football boots behind her back.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Submitted by: Asifa Patel
Language: English

Genre: Rom Com

Where you can watch: Prime Video, Disney +

Summary:

A comedy portrayal of a young girl navigating her cultural ties to her Punjabi family and life as a teenager in London. Following her passion for playing football, the main lead finds herself joining a local football team without her parents’ approval and tries to work around different situations that crop up due to the cultural clashes.

Why did you choose this film:

This film, although a light-hearted portrayal, shows the different experiences first generation immigrants go through to balance the cultural/traditional expectations from older generations and the identity they developed in a culture different to their parents. This movie perfectly shows the generational gap that develops as immigrant families or refugees settle in a new country and try to build a new life.

Lion (2016)

Submitted by: Sophie Walley
Language:  (Mixed Language) English, Hindi, Bengali

Genre: Biography, Drama

Where you can watch: Prime Video

Summary:

Based on the best-selling novel A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion follows Saroo on his journey to find his family after being adopted by an Australian family at the age of 5. Growing up in Australia, Saroo always felt like a part of him was missing and 25 years after being taken from India, Saroo is on a mission to find his family by using Google Earth to locate his village.

Why did you choose this film:

Whilst the al-Hindawi family left Syria for their own safety and to better their circumstances, there are parallels to what Saroo experienced prior to his adoption. After being separated by his family at the age of 5, Saroo was living off the streets until he was taken by an orphanage. Both stories note the difficulties surrounding being separated from your family and the fear of the unknown regarding what has happened to them during their absence. Lion really promotes the importance of family which I think really relates to the message the al-Hindawi family conveys through this exhibition.

Movie poster for Leave No Trace, showing a tall dark forest with light filtering through as a couple walk through it in the bottom right corner.

Leave No Trace (2018)

Submitted by: Molly
Language: English

Genre: Adventure, Drama

Where you can watch: Prime Video, YouTube

Summary:

A father and daughter are living off grid in a state of continual flight from society. The film questions what drives their need for such a radical and secretive lifestyle: are they forging an Edenic existence or afraid of something? As contact with the outside world becomes increasingly inevitable, the pair question what’s best for them together and individually.

Why did you choose this film:

Like the exhibition, Leave No Trace considers the nature of home. Is home made up of people, places, a specific lifestyle, or a set of traditions and behaviours? It also looks at the pain and joys that can come with leaving home, whether out of necessity or desire, and how new homes can be found.

A Bread Factory (2018) (in two parts)

Submitted by: Molly
Language: English

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Where you can watch: Prime Video

Summary:

The Bread Factory, a community arts centre, navigates the pressures and uncertainties of making small-scale art for everyone in contemporary New York. The first instalment sees the centre struggle for the funding it needs to survive and the second documents a wacky production of Euripides’ Hecuba.

Why did you choose this film:

It shows the importance of art that relates to everyday experiences and that fun and hardship can coexist. Hecuba, the play they stage in part two, is a classical story of life after home has been destroyed by war: it becomes a vehicle to explore the community’s sense of humour and compassion for each other.