Cate Blanchett and some other big-name movie stars are speaking out about the plight of refugees in a stark video that entreats viewers to imagine what they'd do if they had to flee war.
The Oscar-winning actor and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees goodwill ambassador headlines the video released Monday with the refugee agency. Entitled What They Took With Them, it was inspired by real refugees' accounts.
Over an opening image of a helicopter dropping bombs and an explosion, a text asks: "If you had to flee your home, what would you take?"
Blanchett and actors including Keira Knightley, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jesse Eisenberg then rattle off items that fleeing refugees often take with them, such as phones, food, water, money, and identity papers.
“As soon as I read Jenifer Toksvig’s poem, and even more so after I took part in an early performance of it, I was struck by its immense power,” said Blanchett.
“The rhythm and words of the poem echo the frenzy and chaos and terror of suddenly being forced to leave your home, grabbing what little you can carry with you, and fleeing for safety,” she added.
“Over 65 million people across the world have been forced to leave everything behind them – everything – and start their lives again from scratch,” Blanchett said. “As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, I believe the very least each of us can do is work together to ensure refugees have the basics with which to build back their lives – an education, somewhere safe to live, the ability to work. I hope this film will urge people to go to withrefugees.org and sign the petition.”
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