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Who Benefits from the Camps? The Refugee Crisis

Distributed by Todos los Pueblos Productions
Produced by Nicolas Autheman and Delphine Prunault
Directed by Nicolas Autheman and Delphine Prunault
DVD , color, 52 min.
High School - General Adult
Capitalism, Human Rights, United Nations

Reviewed by Alexander Rolfe, Technical Services Librarian, George Fox University, Newberg, OR

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 7/10/2018

This film looks at modern refugee camps around the world and their disturbing permanence. It takes a critical eye to the UN’s use of private security (G4S), as well as new technologies to manage refugees, such as eye prints for identification. This improvement on fingerprinting prevents identity theft, but also puts refugees’ most private data in the hands of a company and perhaps a hostile government. It also raises questions about refugees becoming guinea pigs for new technologies, more like a prison population than people with their rights intact. The filmmakers visit a trade fair where private companies show off their latest products to make life in the camps more liveable. The companies view themselves as humanitarians making a living while improving the lives of refugees, but the filmmakers worry these improvements make it easier for the world to accept these camps as permanent while creating a swath of businesses who will depend on their continued existence.

The film is enlightening and thought-provoking. Even if one is not alarmed by each issue they raise, there is much to discuss and problems that need solving. This is not mere activism or propaganda; the companies, commissioners and governments all get to make their best case in this film, explaining to the viewer why they do what they do. The result is a solid addition to courses and collections dealing with the current refugee crisis.