Rethink Rebuild Society, Manchester – November 2022
On Wednesday 9th November Hostile screened at the Rethink Rebuild Society in Manchester, at an event organised in collaboration with the Migrant Destitution Fund.
The screening included a Q&A hosted by Rethink Rebuild Society volunteer Dr Mustafa Alachkar and Hostile director Sonita Gale.
The Rethink Rebuild Society is a Manchester-based charity that began informally after the start of the uprising in Syria in March 2011. It works towards improving the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants, in particular but not exclusively Syrians in the UK, helping them become positively established within British society.
Meanwhile the Migrant Destitution Fund supports destitute migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). This is a Hostile Environment policy, which leaves people unable to access mainstream benefits and housing assistance.
Following the event, William Wheeler of the Migrant Destitution Fund, has this to say about the evening: “People were very touched by the film and the discussion afterwards. It felt that the screening achieved its goal in reaching communities affected by hostile immigration policies – including quite a few asylum seekers being housed in what amount to semi-detention conditions in a hotel in Manchester… A lot of people felt that it was very positive that their experiences are being heard, and are keen that the film should be seen by policymakers.”
Members of the audience also shared their thoughts on the film:
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers for putting up together these true life stories of migrants. I was impacted by the stories as a migrant woman who has gone through the same situation.
“I felt so sad and angry watching the whole film but I was encouraged by the turn out of the British people in the room which gave me the hope that the message will reach out there. What people should realise is that this is a real story and the film highlighted all the mistreatment and unfair system migrants are going through in modern Britain, I always say that you should put humanity above all things . We are human beings seeking protection.” – Eunice Manu, Women Asylum Seekers Together
“The film Hostile is a perfect summary of the environment in the hotel at the moment. As asylum seekers we face the hostile environment on a daily basis. The laws in place for asylum seekers enhance the hostility we face. This is not helped by the bureaucracy that is put in place. Law makers and policy makers needs to see this film.” – NK
“I think it was a great work, that they made this film. They tried to make an idea about asylum seekers and the people here who are suffering for a long time while they wait for a decision. (The guy in the film), he is trying to be in British Society, his children are studying and being part of the society. It will not affect the government to give them papers to stay here – they will be useful for this land. People are trying to assist others but they can’t do anything, they need help from foundations, government, for money to help them.
“Before we came to the UK I thought this was a country of freedom and humanity and rights.But it’s not like that in the UK. The long decision making is a big problem. We are suffering from being in the hotel for a long time. We have been in the hotel for 10 months now, for some, more than a year. It’s a big problem. We spend one night outside the hotel with family, they threaten to throw us out. My own mother is sick, she needs me to be beside her.” – Anonymous
The screening was part of our Impact Campaign tour which started in September and goes on until July next year, with seven screenings so far.