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A Closer Look at the Documentary Hotel for Refugees

"Hotel for Refugees" is a profound documentary offering a glimpse into the lives of Syrian asylum seekers in Ireland, portraying the resilience of humanity amidst crisis.

Keywords: Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Ireland, Syrian Crisis, Humanitarian Aid, Community Response, Social Integration. Three words: Humanity, Crisis, Integration


"Hotel for Refugees" is a profound documentary directed by Alex Niakaris, released in 2017. The film offers a glimpse into the lives of Syrian asylum seekers who find temporary refuge in a small town in Ireland, living in a former four-star hotel while they wait for their asylum status approval.


"Hotel for Refugees" primarily follows the journey of Ghassan, a 20-year-old Syrian refugee, who after a two-year-long journey, finds himself in Ireland. Along with hundreds of other refugees, he resides in a former luxury hotel, their lives in limbo as they await their asylum status. The film portrays the varying reactions of the local community - some extend a friendly and charitable hand, while others express concern about the town's changing dynamics.

More Film Analysis


"Hotel for Refugees" adopts a raw and realistic approach, documenting the everyday struggles and triumphs of the refugees and the local community's reactions. The film is notable for its depth of research and exploration of the subject, delving into the socio-political aspects of the refugee crisis while maintaining a human-centric narrative.

Historical and Factual Context

The documentary provides a snapshot of the ongoing global refugee crisis, specifically focusing on Syrian refugees. It captures the profound impact of the crisis on individual lives and communities, offering a broader understanding of the issue beyond news headlines.

Key themes in the film

  • Humanitarian crisis and response
  • Integration into a new society
  • Impact of refugee influx on local communities
  • The strength of human spirit and resilience

Film Comparisons

"Hotel for Refugees" can be compared to other documentaries like "Human Flow" and "Fire at Sea." However, its unique focus on the small-town dynamics in Ireland offers a different perspective on the refugee crisis.

Noteworthy Moments

The film captures various heartwarming moments of connection between the refugees and the local community, highlighting humanity's capacity for kindness and acceptance amidst crisis.


This documentary has been appreciated for its nuanced portrayal of the refugee crisis. Critics have praised it for its balance in showing not just the struggles of the refugees, but also the impact on local communities.


"Hotel for Refugees" is an insightful documentary that humanises the refugee crisis. It's a must-watch for those seeking to understand the multi-faceted impacts of the ongoing crisis on individuals and communities.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • Ghassan: A 20-year-old Syrian refugee, the central figure in the documentary.



  • Ireland: The film is set in a small town in Ireland where the refugees are housed.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How does the influx of refugees impact small communities?
  • How are refugees integrating into their new societies?
  • What are the challenges faced by refugees in their journey for asylum?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "The Refugees" by Viet Thanh Nguyen because it also explores the themes of displacement and identity.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Imagine" by John Lennon, as it speaks to a world without divisions and borders.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be Ai Weiwei's "Law of the Journey" - a striking representation of the refugee crisis.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian work with refugees.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be blue, symbolising the hope and vastness of the journey for refugees.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be folk, as it tells the stories of ordinary people and their experiences.