Safe Haven weaves together powerful stories of U.S. war resisters who sought safe haven in Canada during wars in Vietnam and Iraq. The film shows how Vietnam era resisters participated in a movement to support the younger generation of U.S. soldiers fleeing war in Iraq. Safe Haven exposes realities and myths of Canada as refuge.
This award-winning film is timely on both sides of the U.S./Canada border. Few Americans know the history of what happened to war resisters who emigrated to Canada during the war in Vietnam. Fewer still know the more recent stories of the resisters to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who also went to Canada seeking refuge. The Canadian audience knows the history of migration during war in Vietnam, but less about the more recent generation. As war continues around the globe, the question of what kinds of roles governments will play in relation to these wars is crucial: will they participate? Will they provide safe haven? Our film shows that these roles change historically and can never be taken for granted, making this a timely resource and platform for dialogue.
Read about the film's Producer/Geographer Alison Mountz: Alison Mountz is professor of geography and Laurier Research Chair in Global Migration at Wilfrid Laurier University. She moved to Canada from the United States and has spent much of her adult life crossing and researching the border between the two countries. Her work explores how people cross borders, access migration and asylum policies, survive detention, resist war, and create safe havens. Dr. Mountz's books include Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border (University of Minnesota, awarded the Meridian Book Prize); Boats, Borders, and Bases: Race, the Cold War, and the Rise of Migration Detention in the United States (University of California, co-authored with Dr. Jenna Loyd); and The death of asylum: hidden geographies of the enforcement archipelago (Minnesota, awarded the Globe Book Award). Mountz edits Politics & Space, hosts the podcast Displacements, and directs Haven, a lab designed to preserve and share migration-related data. She is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, held a Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, and the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professorship of Canadian Studies at Harvard University.