U.S. Asylum-Seekers The Subject Of Films, Discussion At Carbondale's 'Seeking Refuge'

May 28, 2019

A scene from Sylvia Johnson's "Refuge(e)," one of two films about asylum-seekers that will be screened "Seeking Refuge"
Credit Sylvia Johnson

A film screening and discussion in Carbondale Wednesday looks at the journeys of people who fear for their lives in their home countries and seek asylum in the U.S. "Seeking Refuge" includes two short documentaries by Carbondale-based filmmakers.  


Sylvia Johnson’s film tells the story of two African refugees, one from Guinea and the other from the Congo. She met them volunteering in New Mexico at what many call an immigrant detention facility, and what she calls a prison.


Johnson says she wanted to make the film after seeing the toll their detention took on them. One of the men was unable to eat.


"I watched him wasting away in there. I mean, he’s a very strong person, but I could see physically what the effect of being in that place was having on him,” she said.

Laurel Smith’s film is about a Salvadoran immigrant who has lived in sanctuary in a Denver church for nearly two years to avoid deportation.

Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Reverend Shawna Foster will moderate a discussion with the filmmakers after the screening. The panel will include Glenwood Springs immigration attorney Claire Noone.

“Seeking Refuge” starts at 5:15 p.m. at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.