Refugees: Who Needs Them?

Miles Roston

Netherlands, The 2012, 75 min.


Spoken language: English, Dutch

Subtitles: English

World premiere

Festival year: 2012

As the debate on immigration rages across the Netherlands and Europe, the Dutch government invites some refugees in. Five of these invited refugees wonder if the continent that reluctantly accepted them is actually involved in creating the conditions that made them flee in the first place. Refugees: Who Needs Them?, shot over the course of 2011, is an entertaining, often humorous and ultimately moving film experience on new arrivals from Libya, Ethiopia, China and Bhutan.


Eating herring, celebrating the Queen’s Birthday in Amsterdam and sailing on one of the Gay Pride boats: ‘selected refugees’ Fathi, Li Hzu, Fasil, Renuka and Jigme do their very best to assimilate Dutch culture as soon as possible. Their political or religious opinions and ethnic background put them at risk in their country of origin. Having found a second home in the Netherlands, they try to make a contribution to its society. Are these refugees a danger to our Western culture or, on the contrary, do we need them real bad?


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