Utah officials close to the refugee community recommend the following fictional and documentary films to those interested in refugee issues. The following are summaries based on movie studio or distribution company information.

"Hotel Rwanda" (2005)

Amid the holocaust of tribal fighting in Rwanda that results in the butchering of hundreds of thousands, one man (Don Cheadle) strives to save 1,000 refugees by sheltering them in a hotel he manages. Djimon Hounsou, Nick Nolte and Joaquin Phoenix co-star.

Rated PG-13.

Language: English

"Sometimes in April" (2005)

This HBO drama focuses on the 1994 Rwandan massacre in which Hutu nationalists slaughtered nearly one million of their Tutsi countrymen. At the center of the story are two Hutu brothers torn apart by the conflict. Starring Oris Erhuero and Debra Winger.

This film is not rated.

Language: English

"Chasing Freedom" (2004)

The film tells the story of a young Afghan woman (played by Lela Alizada) who is persecuted by the Taliban for running a school for young girls and the pro bono attorney (played by Juliette Lewis) who reluctantly takes on her asylum case after the woman is detained when she arrives at a U.S. airport in search of refuge. The film was inspired by a real asylum case handled by The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. It is a sobering depiction of the nearly insurmountable obstacles that asylum seekers face when they arrive in the United States.

This film is unrated.

Language: English

"In this World" (2003)

Two Afghan cousins become refugees and embark on a clandestine overland odyssey that takes them from Pakistan to London in this documentary.

Rated R.

Language: English

"Lost Boys of Sudan" (2003)

Award-winning documentary follows two Sudanese refugees throughout their journey from their native Africa to the United States. As orphans living in the middle of Sudan's civil war, Peter and Santino face lion attacks and militia gunfire. In suburbia, they also face daunting challenges.

This film is not rated.

Language: English

"Osama" (2003)

This film is the first to be made in a post-Taliban Afghanistan and is inspired by a newspaper account of the efforts of a family of women to survive under the regime. To eke out a meager living, they dress up their 12-year-old girl, Osama, as a boy so she can work.

Rated PG-13

Language: Pashtu, subtitled in English

"Kandahar" (2001)

By Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the drama — shot during the Taliban era — follows an Afghani-Canadian woman as she attempts to enter Afghanistan seeking her sister.

Since it's illegal for a woman to travel alone in Afghanistan, she must rely on the kindness of strangers, including a scrappy boy and a mysterious American.

This film is not rated.

Language: Farsi, subtitled in English

"Varian's War" (2000)

A film about Varian Fry, who changed the world forever and is known as "America's Schindler." Because of Fry's efforts, more than 2,000 Jews, including writers and artists, were able to escape from France during the Holocaust. Starring William Hurt and Julia Ormond.

This film is not rated.

Language: English

"Well-Founded Fear" (2000)

A PBS documentary that provides a rare glimpse of the U.S. asylum granting process through the perspective of the Immigration and Naturalization (INS) asylum officers responsible for reviewing asylum applications. The odds of a refugee receiving asylum are about 1 in 200 and, the viewer soon realizes, depend as much on the personal perspective of the officer assigned to the case as the circumstances involved in each application.

This documentary is unrated, although some descriptions of torture may be unsuitable for children.

Language: English

"Beyond Rangoon" (1995)

Set in 1988, the movie takes us to a little known nation of Burma, a region once recognized as the wealthiest and most ravishing in all of Asia but which, by this point in time, had all but gone up in flames. A young American doctor (Patricia Arquette) visiting Burma finds herself embroiled in the plight of the people and thus embarks on a perilous journey.

"Beyond Rangoon" is dedicated to Nobel Peace prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who symbolizes the protest movement in the Southeast Asian country and has lived under house arrest in Burma since 1989.

Rated: R

Language: English