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Review: ‘We Dare to Dream’ is a new film by Oscar nominee Waad Al-Kateab

“We Dare to Dream” directed by Waad Al-Kateab is an impressive new film about the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, which was part of the Tokyo Olympics.

'We Dare to Dream'
'We Dare to Dream.' Photo Credit: Violet Films
'We Dare to Dream.' Photo Credit: Violet Films

“We Dare to Dream” directed by Academy Award-nominated director Waad Al-Kateab is an impressive new film about the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, which was part of the Tokyo Olympics.

The movie just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, June 11. Academy Award winner and humanitarian Angelina Jolie serves as one of its executive producers.

For over 20 years, Angelina Jolie has advocated for the rights and protection of refugees, carrying out more than 60 field missions to refugee crises globally. She has founded and supports schools, education, health, conservation and women’s economic empowerment programs, including in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Namibia and Afghanistan.

This new documentary is the story of the refugee Olympic team, and it explores the journeys of a group of young, stateless athletes who fight not only to regain their lives, but also to excel on the world stage of global sport.

It is personal story of an artist coming to terms with her place in the world as she realizes she can never go home to Aleppo, where she shot her Oscar-nominated breakout movie “For Sama.”

It includes such refugee athletes as Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, Cyrille Tchatchet II, Kimia Alizadeh, Saeid Fazloula and Wael Fawaz Al-Farraj. Culminating in their competition at the summer Olympics, their compatriots back home and their new communities in refugee camps watch as these determined young athletes fight for their place in the world.

The film follows the story of refugee athletes from Iran, Syria, South Sudan, and Cameroon who swim, run and fight their way to opportunity and safety in host nations across the world.

It features powerful personal stories of displacement, resilience and triumph; moreover, it reveals the lives and hopes of refugee athletes training to compete on the world stage, showing the fire and the drive of young people forced to leave their families, homes and countries of birth to build new lives out of nothing.

The film sheds lights on some important issues (such as upholding the rights and dignity of refugees), and it seeks to lift up people from all around the globe.

“We Dare to Dream” is a gripping story of the refugee community, as well as a story of resilience and inspiration, hardship and loss, hope, and home. Most importantly, this is their story of heart in the face of adversity, and most of all, hope for a better life. It is worth checking out, and it garners two thumbs up.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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