This documentary offers viewers a poignant glimpse into the refugee experience and, with it, a brief and perhaps too narrow view of a range of global socio-political scenarios.
Though director Al-Kateab and the We Dare to Dream team have selected five athletes with compelling stories to follow, you get the sense that all of the members of the Refugee Olympic Team must have similarly harrowing and gripping stories. Look no further than last year's The Swimmers, a biopic about another member of the same team, for proof.
Al-Kateab makes sure to introduce her own experience fleeing Aleppo, Syria (the topic of her prior film For Sama), a smart decision that instills trust in her as storyteller and informs some of her later conversations with her subjects.
The film competently weaves the stories of the refugees together in phases, from introductions to back stories to performances at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
Each person's experience surely deserves its own film, and you might be left wanting to know more details of what happened to send them all away from their home countries and into traumatic passages to new homes in refugee camps or Europe. But their stories will stay with you regardless.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Peacock.