Watch a movie

There are many ways to learn about refugees and we can’t think of a better one than watching a film while curling up on your own couch with some popcorn.

Movies to Watch at Home

Why not rent a film and invite friends over to watch it? Here are some of our suggestions for films which relate to refugees and flight. You may be surprised by some of them!

The Sound of Music [USA, 1965] Director: Robert Wise
Starring: Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. A musical telling the story of Maria, a nun, and the Von Trapps, who flee Nazi Germany.

The Terminal [USA, 2004] Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. When a man enters the US on a tourist visa just as a coup d’etat occurs in his home country, he ends up living in the transit zone of JFK airport.

Casablanca [USA, 1942] Director: Michael Curtiz,
Starring: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. A true cinematic classic. Refugees attempt to escape from the Vichy-régime in Morocco.

Hotel Rwanda [Canada, 2004] Director: Terry George
Starring: Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo. The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Three Kings [USA, 1999] Director: David O. Russell
Starring: George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, 4 soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover refugees who need their help.

Persepolis [France, 2007] Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Gena Rowlands. Poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.

The Killing Fields [UK, 1984] Director: Roland Joffe
Starring: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor and John Malkovich. The true story of New York Times journalist Sidney Schanberg and Cambodian journalist and translator Dith Pran, who found themselves trapped in the Khmer Rouge revolution in Cambodia.

In this World [UK, 2002] Director: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Jamal Udin Mommand and Enayatullah Jumadin. Two young Afghan refugees set out on a dangerous overland to seek asylum in Britain. 

Tears of the Sun [USA, 2003] Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci. Lt. A.K. Waters, a Special-Ops commander leads his team into the jungle of Nigeria to rescue a relief worker, who agrees to go only if they help bring 70 refugees back too.

Arch of Triumph [USA, 1948] Director: Lewis Milestone (based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque)
Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Charles Laughton. In the winter of 1938, Paris is crowded with refugees from the Nazis who live in the back streets trying to evade deportation.

Beyond Borders [USA, 2003] Director: M. Campbell
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Clive Owen. An epic tale of a romance between two people who share a passion for changing the world.


If you only have a few minutes to spare, why not watch one of our online videos below?

Angelina Jolie is interview by BBC's Martin Bell on her role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

UNHCR Storytelling: Discover incredible individual tales from refugees in this introduction video. Watch all of them here


Can you recommend a video, film or book about refugees or by refugees? Email us at and let us know. We'll add it to our list!

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do 1 thing film list

Download this film list for ideas on great films to watch about refugees and flight. How about orgaising a movie night with your friends or in your school or community group?