October 14 only

Winner of the Audience Award for World Cinema at Sundance!

Displaced from their homes, disinherited from their professions, Alexandra Shiva’s This is Home: A Refugee Story offers a portrait of relocated Syrian immigrants learning to walk again in Baltimore, Maryland and follows four families out of 372 Syrian refugees that have eight months of assistance from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) before they’re on their own. This heart-tugging, observational documentary refuses cinematic and political embellishment and directly depicts the realities of refugee life in America. Across dynamic experiences and verbal accounts of distinctive generations, we experience the infantilization of adults swimming through an economy whose language they cannot understand, to the wide-eyed wonder of children inhaling this new world, hungry to make the future their own.

While tragedy rings beneath the surface, Shiva clings to moments of hope: the Syrian neighbor that reinvents their homeland whenever she visits, teenage girls explaining gender roles to their mother, a wife learning to drive in a high school parking lot, and a father willing to sacrifice his last breath for his family. Above all, the relationships forged between these families and the IRC, which facilitates their resettlement, situates This Is Home as an envisioning of an empathetic and selfless America.

Winner of Sundance 2018’s World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary and nominated for Sundance 2018’s World Cinema Grand Jury Award: Documentary.

Director bio:

Alexandra Shiva is an award-winning filmmaker with over 15 years of experience crafting intimate, character-driven cinema vérité documentaries. Her previous films include the Peabody Award-winner How to Dance in Ohio (2015), which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO, Stagedoor (Sundance Channel, 2006, SXSW Film Festival); and Bombay Eunuch (best documentary at the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Special Jury Award at the Florida Film Festival, 2001).

For more information, please visit the Arab Film Festival website.

Directed by Alexandra Shiva. 91 min. DCP. USA, Syria. 2018.

NOTE FILMS START RIGHT AT THE LISTED SHOWTIME. Roxie Theater trailers play during the 30 minutes prior to showtime.


Arab Film Festival: THIS IS HOME: A REFUGEE STORY: Upcoming Showtimes