Alicia Keys' Short Film 'Let Me In' Is A Powerful Call-To-Arms For The Growing Refugee Crisis
There has been a lot of positive activism from Alicia Keys in recent months. When Keys said goodbye to makeup earlier this year, she started a conversation on the important links between femininity, self-esteem and identity. Her readiness to take a public stance on the issues that matter is once again bringing her into the spotlight, and, this time around, she is bringing our attention to a pressing issue. As part of World Refugee Day, Keys' We Are Here movement movement paired with Oxfam and War Child to bring attention to the growing refugee crisis, with an especial emphasis on the critically high numbers of child refugees seeking a safe new home. Their pathos-driven messages comes through in Let Me In , a short film that switches the perspective on the refugee crisis.
Envisioning a scenario where Americans are forced out of the United States and pushed towards Mexico to find a haven, Let Me In lets viewers reconsider what is truly at stake for refugees simply seeking safety. Keys plays Zara, a mother of two living in Los Angeles. At the outset, we are shown a normal breakfast scene with Zara discussing school with her daughter. News reports of brewing conflict on American soil play in the background; Zara tries to distract her children. In the blink of an eye, everything changes when bombs begin to drop on the family's house and Los Angeles as a whole. We watch as Zara and her children flee their home, joining hundreds more Americans in the flight from the major American city.
The film is especially powerful when it pivots its point-of-view, so that we see what the journey to safety is like for Zara's daughter. As she journey's south towards Mexico, an original song by Keys, "Hallelujah," scores the scenes. This change of viewpoint is so strong not only because a young girl is making the journey all on her own, but we as the viewers must reconcile with our own beliefs of how to treat those caught in a refugee situation. The film ends on a surprising note, furthering challenging our notions of what is truly at stake.
While Keys brings a much-needed visibility of the refugee crisis to the American populace, it's Let Me In that drives home the urgency. This script-flipping tactic was previously used by Save The Children in their short film Still The Most Shocking Second Of The Day. Used as a call-to-arms in much the same way Let Me In is used, Most Shocking Second gives the British perspective to the child refugee crisis. In both cases, the message is clear: the need to support refugees, especially children, fleeing to safety in other countries is urgent.
You can watch the full video here.
Images: Alicia Keys/TIDAL (3)