A guest post by Caroline Spearpoint and Miriam Thom, the directors of Hamsa: A Documentary and Educational Platform.

“We were going to die, we were going to sink, the water was up to here… we lost everything…My daughter was crying and saying God please help my family.”


In September 2015 the BBC recorded an interview with Hamsa, a Syrian mother and refugee as she neared the end of a desperate four year journey from Homs to Germany. Her determination and spirit caught the attention of thousands of people around the world, including ours, two English filmmakers based in New York. We contacted Hamsa and she granted us permission to tell her story.

In January 2016, we travelled to the small village of Schnega, Germany to gain a first person perspective that would go beyond what we had seen in the media. Hamsa and her family welcomed us into their home, their openness led to an honest and intimate film depicting one refugee family’s experience integrating in a country so different from their own.

The result is ‘Hamsa: A Documentary and Educational Platform’ which uses human storytelling to engage audiences and motivate action towards helping resettle those suffering from the Syrian Refugee Crisis; the worse humanitarian action of our time. During the short film (20 mins) the audience will get to know Hamsa and her family as they go to school, meet their neighbours, try German food, learn a new language, sing, dance, cry and laugh. Our mission is to reframe mainstream discourse and opinion around the resettlement of refugees and offer those who watch effective ways to take action via our website www.hamsathedocumentary.com.

The film is free and available for screenings worldwide as part of the #hamsathedocumentary movement, hosted by change.org, which features associated petitions that focus on the resettlement of refugees.

We can provide all organisations, individuals and groups who wish to host a screening with a package, including a letter from Hamsa, posters and questions to begin a discussion and dialogue following the film. We will be in London during Refugee Week and can be available to discuss the film at screenings.

We want Hamsa’s story to be told as widely as possible during Refugee Week so if you’re interested in organising a screening please CLICK HERE to watch our trailer and get in touch at hello@hamsathedocumentary.com

Caroline and Miriam