We begin with Alicia Keys making breakfast for her two children in their LA home. Everything is pretty standard and I wondered where Alicia would be taking this project. We hear over the TV that further bombings have taken place in the US and it’s apparent these are different times to which we live today, in the USA anyway…Cut to a bomb going off near the family’s home forcing Alicia and her children to flee.
We jump across the border to Mexico where the radio informs us that the Mexican people are protesting all the US citizens seeking refuge in their country. They fear that the Americans could bring violence to their land because of their love of guns…Starting to sound familiar yet?
We return to Alicia with her children boarding a flimsy boat to supposed safety however she is now minus one daughter. The music then begins and we follow the daughter’s journey. Alone and without her family, she is forced to flee border patrols, endure long and dangerous terrain all in hopes of finding safety.
We won’t give too much else away of the story but you can watch the whole feature below
It’s not hard to see this piece of fiction is based on the very real threat that refugees are facing everyday. It’s a good and well times concept, admittedly it’s not the first time we’ve seen the concept used. Save the Children UK famously released a similar film in the UK earlier this year where we follow a young girl also fleeing her war torn home. Never the less, it doesn’t take away from this body of work.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to put people living comfortably in the shoes of those who are not. Compassion fatigue has settled in and charities are struggling to find ways to connect the viewers with the tragedy of “the other”.
Alicia made a smart decision to remove herself from the video, seeing Alicia (or any) parading as a refugee would be much too unbelievable and distracting; by focussing the video on the daughter character we hone in on her story, her struggle and ultimately, the struggle of thousands of young women who are in the very same situation.
We Are Here and HUMAN present LET ME IN, a Jonathan Olinger film, produced by Mike Peay alongside Chelsea Franklin and Hannah Roodman. It ends with the key figures “There are more refugees in the world today than at any point in history. And half of them are children.”
So, does it work? I think it’d be very easy for me to write a “bloody celebrities asking for money when they’ve got millions”, type of article and the flip side I could also write a “OMG Alicia is the new mother Teresa” puff piece. This is neither. Alicia has found a cause that she feels strongly about and is using the tools at her disposal to tell the word about them. We can do nothing but support her and use the tools at our disposal to shout about them too.
At a time when a tweet & hashtag is all that is expected from famous faces, it is nice to see that some celebrities are willing to take ita step further.
Hats off to Alicia and the We Are Here Movement for bringing further light to the crisis.
Sign the pledge to stand as one with people forced to flee conflict and disaster: http://weareheremovement.com/letmein/ or text “Let Me In” to 80077.