Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Reviewing Social Issues in Films: “The Swimmers”

I recently came across a movie on Netflix called The Swimmers. The movie inspired me in so many ways. The film is based on a true story, and it is about two young sisters in Syria and their journey as refugees in Europe. The war in Syria and the dangerous environment that they were in encouraged the two girls to flee to Germany and apply for family reunification with the goal of saving their family from the dangers of the escalating war. Along their journey, the two girls, who were undocumented at that time, faced social stigma, sexual harassment, and corrupt smugglers that further traumatize them, almost discouraging them to continue with the plan of going to Germany. They swam in the Aegean Sea for over three hours as the lifeboat that they were in on the way to Europe’s mainland started to sink, putting other passengers in danger as well. Luckily, both sisters were competitive swimmers and managed to survive, dragging everyone to safety as they reached the shore. The two continued their journey and eventually found a place to stay. Both of them became part of a local swimming club until one of them was eligible to join the first-ever refugee team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The film ended with them challenging the stereotypes regarding a refugee’s identity. My final verdict: I think the movie did an amazing job addressing a lot of prevalent social issues that we have today. It is important to be aware that these events are still happening and not a lot of them are talked about enough to get the recognition it deserves. Women still experience sexual harassment, and most oftentimes, the stigma around this issue discourages people from being vulnerable and bringing up their experiences. Discrimination towards race and immigrants still occurs and this further perpetuates oppression and division within our society. Corruption is another problem that enables greedy individuals to take advantage of others for their own gain whether it be power, status, or wealth. The film covers so many more relevant issues. Not only is it educational, but it is also fascinating to watch. I recommend watching it!

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