While working on the post production (and still filming in the Netherlands) I am already thinking of the follow up film. That follow up will take two years, maybe three, to finish and will have a very different approach from the first Headwind documentary.
Headwind 1, the story of Bhutanese family living in diaspora, is a narrative of four people in one family who are all refugees from Bhutan and live in different places in the world as a result of the UNHCR third country resettlement project. It’s a story about loosening family ties and the troubles that resettlers and refugees face in their lives against the background of the political and historical truth about Bhutan.
Headwind 2 however will be subtitled ‘The End Game’. It will tell the story of those Bhutanese refugees that did not resettle. About what happens to them and about history treats them. It will show how the situation will change over the years and how the international community caters, or doesn’t, for these people. In the next three years the UNHCR will together with the US government and the Nepalese government enter into an ‘end game’ to resolve the situation of the Bhutanese refugees. But it is already clear that this situation will not be resolved completely. Where the UNHCR estimates some 10.000 refugees to stay behind in Nepal, other sources expect that the real figure will be over 20.000 Bhutanese refugees who will not be able to return to Bhutan and will not resettle in the west. The difference between the UNHCR figures and these expert estimates are based on the fact that the UNHCR doesn’t count some groups within the refugee community. The figures currently simply don’t add up.
As a film maker it is a challenge to follow events over the years and track the developments concerning these people. Especially when in parallel the integration of the resettling refugees in western society can be followed as a reference.
So, where Headwind 1 is still on the editing table, Headwind 2 is being sketched. As one can imagine, this work is becoming my life’s work as a writer and film maker and if anyone is interested in supporting me in this effort, please let me know. I do need all the help I can get to get this done.
Alice Verheij © 2011