“African Exodus” Film Documentary

On June 20, 2016, I was privileged to see a screening of the film African Exodus directed by Brad Rothschild at San Francisco’s Sundance Kabuki theater, sponsored by Right Now: Advocates for Asylum Seekers in Israel and Ameinu. This troubling and moving documentary exposes the plight of African refugees fleeing to Israel to escape the horrific civil wars in Sudan and Eritrea. Some 60,000 refugees and asylum seekers found their way to Israel hoping to find safe haven and 45,000 remain. Many live in south Tel Aviv near the central bus station in squalid conditions, in limbo, and often going hungry. The Israeli government has labeled them “infiltrators” and denies them work permits. Many have been transferred to the isolated prison-like Holot detention center in the Negev desert, where they have been held for months to years.

Through interviews we get to know some of the asylum seekers, their stories, and their hopes. We learn of the horrific killings in Cairo on December 30, 2005 under Mubarak’s regime, causing many to flee across the Sinai in search of safety. We see the gratitude of a mother toward Israeli army troops for providing food and water to her children after the harrowing journey. We see the cruelty of Israeli government policy, which refuses to see their plight and treats them as pariahs, leaving them to languish in limbo. We see the spewing of hatred from religious Jewish nationalists, and the tremendous generosity of everyday Tel Aviv residents who embrace the “stranger” by setting up soup kitchens and collection centers.

Andrea Kruchik-Krell, founder of Microfy, is a powerful voice in the film. She was present for the after-film discussion.

Click here to view the heart-wrenching short trailer of African Exodus.

For further information on African Exodus or to show this film in your community, contact Morgan Buras Finlay at morgan.buras@gmail.com.

This entry was posted in General News, Inter-Culturalism, Politics & Society, War & Peace and tagged , by Abby Caplin. Bookmark the permalink.

About Abby Caplin

Abby Caplin, MD is a physician with a mind-body medicine practice in San Francisco. She holds a master's degree in Integral Counseling Psychology, and helps people with chronic illness heal and live meaningful lives. Her poems have appeared in Adanna, The Binnacle, Burningwood, Crack The Spine, Forge, The Healing Muse, OxMag, Poetica, TSR: The Southampton Review, Tikkun, Willow Review, and several anthologies. Her poem “Still Arguing with Old Synagogue” was a finalist for the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. Her websites are http://abbycaplin.com and http://abbycaplinmd.com.

4 thoughts on ““African Exodus” Film Documentary

  1. Ever thought of condemning Egypt where they originally sought refuge? I guess it’s easier to finger point ar Israel because it’s held to a different standard. Israel is a small country under pressure from all sides

  2. I was present for the film as well. Abby’s review was excellent. It is well worth watching and this is such an important humanitarian issue. Regarding Fred’s comment. Okay, there

  3. (cont’d) I pointed a finger at Egypt. Now, let’s see what we can do to help those Israelis who are acknowledging the injustices perpetrated by the government and are working to alleviate the plight of the refugees. Let’s applaud the Israeli soldiers who show rachmanut on initial contact with the refugees. Let’s contact Ameinu or Right Now to see how we can help. Let’s visit the neighborhood around the Tel Aviv bus station to see the deplorable situation. Let’s sit in on a class or visit the website of the social activist yeshiva BINA, located in the neighborhood, and learn of their extraordinary work in tikkuning the situation. Or.. let’s point a finger.

    • Well there, you do realize that Italians and other western European countries are deporting tens of thousands of African refugees every day. But that’s ok, it;s not Israel doing it. Those are economic refugees, not war refugees, They have entered the country illegally. Israel has the sovereign right to defend its border. Point some more, wring for hands in outrage from your comfortable war free home. The refugees were given sanctuary and its time for many to go home.

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