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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary Well-Founded Fear and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

Well-Founded Fear: Discussion Guide

Download: Full-color PDF

Well-Founded Fear is an evocative documentary about what goes on behind the electronic doors of the asylum office at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). On this dramatic, real-life stage, American ideals about human rights collide with the nearly impossible task of trying to learn the truth from asylum-seekers. Well-Founded Fear challenges us as viewers to think about whether government institutions reflect our political beliefs, including our level of commitment to protecting individuals from persecution. Getting to know the people behind the institutions also challenges us to evaluate how our beliefs, biases and experiences influence our ability to judge the credibility of others.

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Until Feb. 9, 2016

Film Information

Well-Founded Fear

Premiere Date: June 5, 2000

Streaming Dates: Feb. 9, 2015 – Feb. 9, 2016

Filmmakers: Shari Robertson, Michael Camerini Bio | Interview


Shari Robertson
Shari Robertson
Michael Camerini
Michael Camerini

Critical Acclaim

Groundbreaking, as well as devastating … If it's life-and-death drama you're looking for, with entire futures hinging on a few words, this is the place to go.

— Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times

One of the most talked-about and attended films at the Sundance Film Festival … we're taken behind the bulletproof glass, through the locked doors, under the fluorescent glare, down the forbidding hallways, and into the offices of the INS agents themselves.

— Duane ByrgeThe Hollywood Reporter

Sometimes the most engrossing television is also the hardest to watch … the viewer who sticks with it ends up rewarded but deeply rattled, on several levels.

— Neil Genzlinger The New York Times

... Occasionally there comes along a programme that's simply humbling... I haven't seen anything to touch this...

— Gerard O'Donovan The Daily Telegraph, London

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