Filmmaker and army veteran Richard Campos will screen The Longest Road, his documentary about the Kurdish refugee crisis in Iraq, at Jefferson High School on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. Campos has made numerous humanitarian missions to Iraq to bring to light to the millions of people that are displaced and living in refugee camps.
Campos told the Rivard Report Thursday morning that the film helps him keep a promise he made to the refugees that he would do everything he could to tell their story.
“This movie is about a crisis in Kurdistan. It’s showing the refugee crisis in Iraq because of ISIS and the Iraq War,” he said. “It has a very powerful and hopeful message and I hope it’s inspiring to everyone who sees it.”
The film has generated interest around the world, prompting people to ask what they can do to help after viewing it.
“Most people say they’re inspired. They ask ‘What can we do?’” Campos said. “They want to get involved and that’s what we’re hoping for. The more people that get involved, (the faster) we can get a movement going.”
He said that the movie solicits this type of reaction because the U.S. is still entangled in the Middle East. Campos himself was deployed to Iraq in 2003.
“It’s relevant and current because we’ve been involved with the area for years and years. We’re very deep into it,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of money and blood on it, and the human suffering has taken its toll.”
Campos added that any proceeds from screenings will go towards helping refugees in the camps, mainly the Yazidis ethnic group.
Katrinia Kraemer, a retired nurse, told the Rivard Report Thursday afternoon that after taking medical mission trips to Kurdistan and meeting some of the people involved in the documentary, she wanted to help spread the message back home. She’s president of the South Texas Chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association, which is sponsoring the screening.
“My purpose for bringing the movie here is community awareness first and foremost,” she explained. “My intention is to bring awareness so that we can continue our efforts over there. We’re trying to raise money to build a medical clinic in one of the camps.”
The screening is free and open to the public, though donations are welcome. Campos will be in attendance along with Dr. Nemam Ghafouri, a doctor who works to provide medical services to the camps. Music will be provided by Mike Ryan Coyote. Watch the trailer below.