To be an online influencer you must have a bright presence that resonates. Binti has a charming personality, she just doesn’t seem to have those all-important followers. Not yet. Convinced she has what it takes to be famous, Binti vlogs every moment, emulating her idol Tatyanna. When the immigration police raid her home, and try to deport her and her dad, they are forced to flee. Escaping to the woods, Binti finds herself seeking refuge in Elias’ treehouse. Apprehensive at first, Elias and Binti eventually connect and begin to understand each other’s experience in new and surprising ways. Elias has a deep respect for the okapi, an endangered Congolese forest giraffe, which he has been trying to save from extinction—with little success. Capitalizing on Binti’s growing social media presence, the two get creative. They begin to make short PSA videos and plan a community fundraiser with traditional Congolese dance and poetry. All the while Elias is focused on saving the okapi. Binti has high hopes that her dad and Elias’ mom will get married, meaning she can stay in Belgium. As her online support grows, and their friendship solidifies, so does Elias’ dimensional understanding of the realities migrants face. In the end, Elias must find the courage to stand up for his friend.
Themes: refugee and migrant experience, social media, family, law and human rights, friendship, activism, teamwork
Advisory: During a raid, police chase residents onto the street; migrants are restrained, arrested and held in a jail-like detention centre; a young person is handcuffed.
Feature film recommended for age: 11+