A new film exploring the experience of volunteers and refugees in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp, a Q&A with director Thomas Laurance will feature at a special event at the Palace Cinema in Broadstairs next week.
The cinema is screening the powerful new documentary On Our Doorstep and its filmmakers as part of a UK tour. The film is testament to the movement that rose to aid the Calais ‘Jungle’ and the community that sprang up there before it was demolished.
With sensitivity and honesty, the film explores what happened when young and inexperienced civilians are forced to devise systems and structures to support 10,000 refugees. Left unguided to face the moral and emotional dilemmas, blurred lines and frequent grey areas of giving aid to vulnerable people, how did they come together to help? On Our Doorstep shares refugees’ stories and the continuing work ordinary civilians do to help those forced to seek safety away from home.
It explores an aspect of the ongoing refugee crisis that rarely reaches the press – how, as NGOs are blocked by red tape and in the absence of structural government support, grassroots support steps in.
Director Thomas Laurance originally arrived in the camp as a volunteer carpenter but ended up staying a year documenting what he saw until the camp’s destruction in October 2016. Back in the UK, he sourced footage from filmmakers, activists, volunteers and refugees to bring together a mosaic of frontline experiences offering access to the ‘Jungle’s’ communities.
On Our Doorstep has received wide support both during production and now as it reaches audiences in cinemas across the UK.
Executive Producer Jerry Rothwell said: “On Our Doorstep combines visceral present tense footage with a thoughtful reflection on the events of a year in the Calais ‘Jungle’ from the perspective of refugees, volunteers and activists.
“The filmmakers tell a story which is both movingly personal and full of insight into the dilemmas faced by those who came forward – in the face of government inertia – to respond to the refugee crisis.”
On Our Doorstep plus Q&A with director Thomas Laurance and special guests takes place on Tuesday 23 May, 7.30pm.
Tickets £7/£6 – Book online at https://thepalacecinema.co.uk/production/on-our-doorstep-qa/ or buy on the door