UN Radio's first podcast explores refugees and migration through Oscar-nominated film
26 February 2016 – The issue of refugees and migration has risen to the top of the international community’s agenda with the massive flow of people seeking safety and new lives in Europe of late.
But the issue is not a new one – people changing countries has been a constant throughout history, with the United Nations tackling the challenge since its inception in 1946. A recent film screening at UN Headquarters allowed the historical and modern aspects of it to be explored in UN Radio’s first-ever podcast.
The film is the Oscar-nominated movie, Brooklyn, which tells the story of a young woman’s migration from small-town Ireland to Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1950s.
I feel like it is incredibly special that our film is being screened here, and that we have a chance to be included in the immigration conversation.
Its screening was followed by a discussion on the issue of modern migration and the refugee crisis. Taking part were Irish writer Colm Tóibín, on whose novel the film is based, and the movie’s star, Saoirse Ronan who tell UN Radio about how the film’s plot mirrored many aspects of their own lives.
“I feel like it is incredibly special that our film is being screened here, and that we have a chance to be included in the immigration conversation,” Ms. Ronan says in the podcast. Mr. Tóibín notes in it that every modern-day refugee and migrant has an epic story that deserves to be heard.
The biggest surprise, according to producer and presenter of the pilot podcast, Matt Wells, was the way in which those attending the screening and discussion – both UN staff and others – identified so closely with the themes raised by the film.
Brooklyn is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Ms. Ronan), and Best Adapted Screenplay.