WALT DISNEY, Lucasfilm (2)
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Six Stories of Displacement in Pop Culture

Stories of refugees and displaced people can be found in the films we watch and TV shows we binge. 

From heartwarming adventures to epic fantasy sagas, these tales resonate universally, using the power of storytelling to bridge gaps and build empathy.

Paddington (2014)

The story revolves around a bear from Peru who comes to London after he was forced to flee his home due to an earthquake. While in London, he faces challenges in adapting to his new environment. Although the film does not explicitly address political or social aspects related to refugees, it carries underlying themes of displacement, immigration, acceptance and finding a new home.

The Terminal (2004)

Tom Hanks takes the spotlight in this thought-provoking film, portraying a man stranded at JFK International Airport due to political turmoil in a fictional Eastern European country. The film explores the complexities of displacement and asylum against the backdrop of a major transportation hub. The story explores these themes with heart, humour and romance. 

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame explores what an intergalactic diaspora would look like. After the mythological realm of Asgard is destroyed, the displaced Asgardians set up a diaspora community in Norway. New Asgard, as the community is named, is explored further in Thor: Love and Thunder, when the Asgardians use their culture and technology as tourist attractions for interested Earthlings. 

Encanto (2021)

Disney's enchanting musical transports us to a fictional village in Colombia, where the Madrigal family grapples with significant changes. In the film, the matriarch of the family is forced to flee her home due to conflict. The film explores how the trauma of being displaced can impact further generations. Themes of identity, displacement, magic and family are woven throughout this must-watch animated gem.

The Hobbit Trilogy (2012)

This fantasy epic tells the story of 13 displaced dwarves who set out to reclaim their home after it was besieged by Smaug, a powerful dragon. After being displaced for more than 170 years, the dwarves embark on a daring quest. United with the hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the wise wizard Gandalf, they reclaim their homeland from the fiery grip of the dragon. The Hobbit resonates with audiences globally, showcasing the timeless appeal of narratives that explore the challenges and triumphs of stepping into the unknown.

The Mandalorian (2019)

The Mandalorian is a space western set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It follows a group of gun-toting refugee warriors who fight to get their home planet of Mandalore back. The Star Wars series shows the complexities of displacement in a setting filled with alien species and galactic conflict.

Stories have the power to inspire and unite. These captivating displacement narratives offer more than entertainment; they show that displacement can happen anywhere, be it close to home, in a galaxy far, far away or on Middle Earth. These narratives create a shared experience, fostering connections across cultures.