WNY Refugee Film Festival

The Invisible City: Kakuma

The Invisible City: Kakuma



The Invisible City: Kakuma

Kakuma refugee camp, built in the middle of the Turkana desert in Kenya, is the fastest growing city in the region. It is now home to over 186,000 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Congo (DRC), and other conflict-ridden areas in the region. Many of its new arrivals are children sent out of conflict zones by their parents (Kakuma is famous as being the camp of the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”) Against all odds, these children grab all opportunities in the camp to rebuild their life. While waiting for her mother to return from South Sudan, Nyakong, age 8, starts to go to school. Slowly she creates a new home in the camp. At the age of 17, teenagers like Claude and Khadijo compete for international scholarships, get a job, and even build their own house.

Filmmaker Lieven Corthouts decided to stay in one of the toughest places on earth and make this camp his home. While filming his friends for more than four years, he spotlights the accomplishments of these strong, smart children and the true dynamics of a refugee camp. In a world hit by inhumane political decision-making, this film draws attention to the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa. With an intimate and warm approach, The Invisible City: Kakuma is an antidote to growing xenophobia against refugees in the West.

At the same time, Lieven goes beyond the filmmaker’s purely observational role. In order to speed up family reunification, he helped develop a mobile application in the camp so separated family members may find each other. The story continues in the interactive web series, Find Me in Kakuma: will Nyakong, Claude, and others find their parents? The web series (use Chrome for best experience) is an excellent teaching tool for classrooms.

  • Impact Docs Awards - *Award of Excellence*

  • Ischia Film Festival - *Best Documentary*

  • Docville International Film Festival - Official Selection

  • Doctors Without Borders International Film Festival - Official Selection

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Official Site: https://theinvisiblecitykakuma.com/

Director: Lieven Corthouts

Running Time: 74 min.

Languages: English, Somali, Swahili

Subtitles: English

Country: Kenya

Production/Distribution Company: Torch Films