UNBOWED is a feature-length documentary filmed over the course of a pivotal year in Rhode Island refugee Omar Bah’s life. It is based in an intimate and human world through an observational lens focused on Omar Bah, a refugee and social entrepreneur who has built a new life in America around helping other recently arrived refugees through his grassroots socioeconomic development agency.
A decade after surviving a traumatic escape from The Gambia and a tumultuous refugee resettlement experience, Omar’s answer to this painful period culminates when he opens the Providence-based not for profit Refugee Dream Center (RDC), a place “for refugees run by refugees” that addresses resettlement and its specific conditions in an intimate and knowing way, as only fellow refugees can. Learning about his origin story one sees Omar’s “pay it forward” ethos in action, which shapes RDC’s mission.
We experience what happens when a refugee effectuates meaningful change for his community and alters the well-intended but inadequate refugee resettlement system by closing gaps and eliminating weaknesses in a process that often hinders resettlement, while also facing personal life-changing events in his life once again.
Unbowed expands viewers’ perception and understanding of the otherwise politicized refugee discussion, and takes the human experience of refugee resettlement and moves it out of the raucous world of the news headlines.