Beating the Blues

The Blue Moment film is a story of resilience and solidarity uncovering the mystery of a young woman from Africa who has arrived in Britain after being persecuted in her own country.

Blue Moment FilmWith more displaced people in the world than ever before, refugees are coming to Europe, and a small percentage of those are arriving now in the UK. KS3-4 young people in schools may well be aware of the young refugees, mainly from Syria, being given asylum here.

Blue Moment is a 45 minute, educational, online film drama made by safeguarding-drama specialists Risky Things for 15+ viewing. Devised with the Refugee Therapy Centre in London, it is based on real case studies of young refugees, who have endured torture, being helped to recovery here. Work started on the project 3 years ago, because of the challenges that refugees and their support organisations were facing: reducing funds for social services and adverse public opinion fed by often ill-informed, anti-immigration media reporting. Telling true stories has only become more important since then, and the issue more high profile.

This film of resilience and solidarity uncovers the mystery of an 18 year old, Muslim woman from Africa who arrives in Britain after being tortured (in Nigeria) as a child of 14. Alongside her story are those of the therapist who helps her overcome her torture-trauma, and a local bus-driver who supports her, despite the suspicions of his partner and some colleagues. Vulnerable to racist abuse, Alia moves slowly through the challenging asylum process accused of terrorism. She becomes homeless and is raped, but is determined to survive.

Blue Moment as a teaching resource
School pupils will come to the film with a range of attitudes, reflecting the range of views expressed in the film. A PSHCE, teacher-led lesson would create a safe space in which the issues could be debated, including issues which relate to colour, tolerance, citizenship and the current hostile climate towards immigrants for example.

Misinformation that has been widely disseminated (for instance, during the Brexit campaign) can be corrected with accurate statistics from organisations such as the Migration Observatory at Oxford University (e.g. only 7% of immigrants are asylum seekers, 64% of asylum seekers are refused and the UK received only 3% of the asylum claims made across the EU).

The scenes of Alia suffering verbal and sexual abuse in the film can be discussed directly with safeguarding approaches that use the support links from the training notes that are available online. While the rough sleeping scenes in the film can draw discussion to consideration of homelessness and the housing shortage for example.

In these challenging times of growing mental health problems amongst young people it should be widely relevant to watch how a young woman, dealing with depression in therapy, confronts her demons and is helped to recover from her trauma. Surviving her ordeal she can be an inspiration to her peers watching, who are protected from the stigma of direct association by her refugee situation.

This free educational resource, funded by Big Lottery and sponsorships, is available here, where training notes to aid discussion are also provided.

Blue Moment Refugees


Our thanks to Cathy Denford, Artistic Director of Risky Things theatre & film for providing this article

Written by Teaching Resources Support on December 09, 2016 10:26

Teachers Invited to tackle bullying through film

Into FilmResearch suggests that nearly 70 % of children in the UK have had some kind of bullying experience – yet bullying is a sensitive and complex subject which can be difficult to talk about. One way to tackle it is through the inclusive and accessible medium of film. To tie in with Anti-Bullying Week 2014 (November 17-22) Into Film, an education charity supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, has developed a new resource featuring six carefully selected films – three for secondary - to promote discussion about bullying and related themes such as friendship, on-line safety, standing up for what is right and the power of groups, positive and negative. Films are free to order for all schools with an Into Film club.

Titles for secondary are The Social Network (2010, 12), about the founders and impact of Facebook, tense British drama UWantMeToKillHim (15, 2013) and futuristic sci-fi movie Ender’s Game (2013, 12). Related activities range from a Character crossroads discussion and worksheet to researching successful people who were bullied as a child, and creating an educational Talking Heads film about different types of bullying and how to stop them. Download the resource here.

Other great resources from Into Film which can be used for Anti-Bullying Week are InRealLife, which uses the hard-hitting documentary of the same name to explore a range of issues relating to the Internet including cyberbullying, and Staying Safe Online, with films and activities for primary and secondary linked to e-safety. All resources are available to download from the website.

Into Film LogoInto Film is an education charity that puts film at the heart of young people’s learning. Into Film Clubs are FREE for all state funded schools and non-school settings and offer free access to thousands of films and education resources for learning through and about film, as well as opportunities to learn about filmmaking and go behind the scenes of the film industry. Inclusive and accessible for all students, film clubs help promote young people’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development helping schools achieve OFSTED requirements.

Supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, together with funding from the film industry and a number of other sources, Into Film incorporates the legacy and staff of two leading film education charities, FILMCLUB and First Light, building on their experience and success in delivering programmes of significant scale and reach to children and young people across the UK.

For further information about Into Film and to start an Into Film Club visit: www.intofilm.org/schools-film-clubs or call 0207 288 4520.

Written by Teaching Resources Support on November 10, 2014 15:30


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