News / Toronto

Hot Docs screening movies from countries affected by Trump ban

Ban This Series project aimed at igniting people's understanding of various cultures and struggles.

A screenshot from My Country, My Country, a film that tells the story of a medical doctor in Baghdad who runs in an election.

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A screenshot from My Country, My Country, a film that tells the story of a medical doctor in Baghdad who runs in an election.

A Trump travel ban won’t dim cinematic lights from the seven targeted countries.

A special project at Toronto’s Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema will showcase films from the seven countries affected by the recent executive order from President Donald Trump.

The project, aptly named Ban This Series, will screen films from Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Hot Docs managing director Alan Black said the project is not necessarily a political statement against the U.S. policy towards immigration, but simply an attempt to tell vital stories from real people.

“We all have lives to live. Some are harder than others, and we have to be cognizant of that,” he said.   

Trump’s executive order cut down on refugee intakes and banned travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. Protesters around the world took to the streets to denounce the move, and the American Civil Liberties Union earned a stay of the order in courts. Federal appeals court refused to reinstate the ban on Thursday.

Black said the ban has put the world into a “challenging” situation, and it is now more important than ever to share stories that link humanity together. As a grandson of Holocaust survivors, for example, he knows he wouldn’t be here now if his grandparents had been prevented from coming to Canada.

“I think the problem might be bigger than Trump,” he said. “The problem is the lack of empathy and people not understanding life outside of their own, and the struggles other people are facing.”

Don't miss out:

  • Ban This Series will run at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema from March 6–8. More information can be found at hotdocscinema.ca.

Some of the films to be showcased include:

  • Libya In Motion: 13 short docs portraying struggles and resilience of those living in post-revolution Libya.
  • My Country, My Country: The story of a medical doctor in Baghdad who runs in an election.
  • Sonita: An Afghan teenager living in Tehran wants to be a rapper, but women aren’t allowed to sing and her parents force her into marriage.

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