I’m so behind on blog posts that I’ve planned to write, so I wasn’t even sure that I was going to blog this film. But then I learned this morning that this week the United States will reach the target goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian war refugees.
From Baghdad to Brooklyn is about one of those Syrian war refugees. When we hear the term “refugee” it removes the humanity from each individual. The term puts each person, who has their own life story, into a mass of others trying to get into another country. They are seeking refuge, safety and some showing of kindness.
The film humanizes this crisis by bringing us the true story of Mohamad, a 23-year-old who fled from Baghdad to Syria. Mohamad’s striking good looks and charismatic personality brings the filmmaker, Jennifer Utz into his story. Both of their lives change as a result.
While watching the film, you wonder what you would do if you could help someone in this situation. Would you help? It makes you think about having to flee your homeland. How would you cope? Could you cope? What would you do to survive?
It’s a very good film. But because it’s real life, it’s messy. The ending is not tied up nicely.
In some ways I was surprised. In other ways I was disappointed. It made me think about all the fears of immigration and the idea of refugees in this especially harsh political climate.
There are no perfect people, so there are no perfect immigrants either. How do we become okay with this as a nation? I think compassion. Because it could be any of us. But how do you teach compassion? That’s a question for which I don’t have any answers.