2017 ‧ Documentary ‧ 2h 20m
Epic in scope yet clear-eyed and intimate, Human Flow offers a singularly expansive — and sobering — perspective on the global refugee crisis.
Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.
Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.
Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey.
Human Flow is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future.
Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever. This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity?
In place of talking-head interviews, Ai’s signature shot seems to be the overhead drone sequence, offering breathtaking bird’s-eye views of, say, a refugee-packed boat on the open sea. – WASHINGTON POST