This brief documentary tells the story of teenage revolutionaries in Hungary as they attempt to overthrow the Soviets who have occupied their home in 1956. This moment led to 37,000 refugees fleeing to Canada, becoming the first group to be welcomed into Canada, changing their lives and our country for the better.
Commemorating 60 years since the uprising in Hungary that led to a mass of refugees entering Canada, the Freedom First Film Festival begins with a screening of Young Rebels, and it’s a relatively quick introduction to this historic moment. At just 45 minutes long, there’s not a lot of in depth knowledge to be found here, but there’s plenty of inspirational messages that can, and should, be applied to our thinking today.
Following a brief uprising that only lasted 12 days, Hungary was quickly taken back from the rebels by the Soviets, leaving thousands dead and wounded, and forcing the citizens to flee their homes. Young Rebels focuses on the students and children, some of them as young as 11-years-old, who took part in the revolution before being forced to flee. Their part in the revolution isn’t exactly as powerful as you may imagine. Their youth mainly kept them from participating in a major way, but their race to escape is as dangerous as everybody else’s.
It’s when these teens become refugees searching for a home that Young Rebels truly stands out. Canada is quick to accept them, allowing them free travel and quick acceptance into the country. With over 37,000 of them accepting and making their new home in Canada, we hear from the people themselves what their lives became, and see how they started with absolutely nothing to make themselves important members of society. This is certainly something we need to think about at this time in our world.
Is Young Rebels essential festival viewing?
While it’s not quite as in depth as one may like, it’s a great starting point to learning about this historic moment in history, and a great beginning for the festival.