"What if we were the refugees?" This question lies at the heart of Alicia Keys' new short film Let Me In, released Monday in honor of National Refugee Day.
Directed by Jonathan Olinger and produced via Keys' We Are Here nonprofit in partnership with Oxfam, War Child, & CARE the 11-minute video flips the script on the refugee crisis currently gripping Europe and the Middle East. It puts the United States at the epicenter of the conflict and serves as an extended visual to showcase Keys' haunting, new single "Hallelujah."
Violence forces Keys and her family to flee her war-torn Los Angeles suburb to seek the safety of Mexico.
Our neighbor's border guards face a tough decision: let in the hungry and exhausted Americans, or leave them to more violence and pain?
"I was stunned when I learned that there are more refugees living in the world today than at any other point in history, and half of them are children," Keys said in a statement describing her film's aims. "Creating this film really allowed us to imagine, what if we were the refugees? What if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones? How would it feel if this were happening to us?"
The film points viewers to a petition where they can pledge their support for the refugees of the world. "It ultimately blurs the lines between 'us' and 'them,'" Olinger offers in his own statement, "as we are all human."
Watch the full video below.