Ciné-ONU film screening of the documentary "The Mission"

A close-up of UNHCR refugee aid staff working in one of the remotest corners of the world was provided to the audience at the screening of the documentary "The Mission". On the occasion of the UNHCR event "Langer Tag der Flucht" on 28th September 2012 the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, in cooperation with the UNHCR and this human world (THW) Film Festival showed this film by Stefan Eberlein as part of the Ciné-ONU series.

"The Mission" was filmed in 2006 and charts the journey of three UNHCR refugee aid workers: Claas from Germany, Anita from Austria, and Mathias from Tanzania, following them from their 10-day induction training to a dangerous mission in South Sudan. They leave behind their nine to five office jobs, safe lifes and leave for a few weeks in order to help people returning to their homes in the city of Bor after 20 years of civil war. On their mission the protagonists are stretched to their limits as they face a multiplicity of unexpected problems.

After the screening at Topkino in Vienna, the audience had the possibility to participate in a panel discussion, moderated by Janos Tisovszky, Director of UNIS. Ariane Rummery, Senior Regional Public Information Officer at UNHCR and Ralf Ohnmacht, Logistician at Doctors without Borders Austria (MSF) were answering questions and reporting on their experience in the field. They were both touched by the honest and authentic performance of the documentary. Ariane pointed out the challenges the aid teams are generally facing on missions like this. She talked about masses of people, many kids among them waiting for help and having certain people's expectations and the impossibility to meet them, sometimes even to fulfil basic needs. Culture clash often adds to the problem. The organization of such aid missions was also discussed by the participants. Ariane and Ralf agreed that it was essential to have a well organized distribution of food or water supplies to make sure old, young and weak people will have their fair chance. Ariane also reported about her recent experiences with Syrian refugees. According to her, camps in Turkey and Iraq were currently quite organized and people who fled to Lebanon usually rented apartments or stayed with other families. However, the situation in Jordan was chaotic. People working there were facing a range of challenges, including the registration of refugees and harmful dust storms. Over 40 Million people worldwide are currently fleeing war, violence and death. Since 1950 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has the mission to protect refugees. Each year, hundreds of volunteers support the organization's activities.

The next Ciné-ONU film screening will be on 22nd October 2012 and show the documentary "Into Eternity" at Topkino. The documentary addresses the topic nuclear waste.

For further information visit the Ciné-ONU page.