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Documentary: After the Escape - Finding Home in a Foreign Land

December 16, 2017

Refugees have long used art and culture to make new homes for themselves in foreign lands. This stretches not only them, but their host country too. A film about five refugees and how books, movies and music can become key tools for integration.


"Isn’t it wonderful to be a refugee?" ten-year-old Judith Kerr shouted across the rooftops of Paris in 1934. She and her family had fled Nazi Germany one year earlier. Escape was a great adventure for her and her parents didn’t let her sense their own fear. Today, the world-famous 94-year-old writer ("When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit") lives in London and says: "For me, England was my home at the end of the war. But it wasn’t for my parents. They never belonged anywhere."

Successful integration

It’s a story typical of many refugee families. The stories of the other protagonists show how integration can succeed and how it can fail. Syrian pianist Aeham Ahmad, German-Bosnian writer Saša Stanišić, Nigerian-German musician Nneka Egbuna and Chilean author and director Antonio Skármeta all came to Germany, which has been a refuge for many persecuted artists and artists since the end of the Second World War. The documentary lets them tell their stories - and shows how immigrants have enriched art, culture and society in Germany.

Online feature "After the Escape"