This Friday, June 20, is World Refugee Day. Although we probably aren't expected to feel guilty if this commemorative day isn't penciled into our calendars, this is as good a time as any to publicize the plight of the more than 70,000 fugitives from repressive regimes who attempt to find asylum in America every year.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is raising funds and awareness across the country with a screening of Settling in Seattle. This hour-long documentary was produced last winter and recently completed. Directed by Lisa Russell, it follows the fortunes of four young settlers as they navigate language barriers and many other obstacles to their goal of becoming Americans. Along the way, we meet Y Dam Bhu, a Vietnamese Montagnard; Marwa, a 14-year-old Iraqi; Samir, a refugee from Kosovo; and Jacob, a one-time "lost boy" from Sudan.
On Thursday night, the film will be shown at the Walnut Room, Talley Student Center, located on the N.C. State campus. Friday night, the film will be shown in Chapel Hill, in the Toy Lounge of Dey Hall, located on the UNC campus. The program will begin at 7 p.m. on both nights.
For more information about Settling in Seattle, which was produced by the International Refugee Committee in conjunction with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, go online to www.governessfilms.com/refugee/film.html.