Cast from the Storm tells the tender story of a group of teenage refugees who share their extraordinary stories when they join Treehouse Theatre, an after-school theatre group. A coming of age story, this uplifting documentary shares the reality of what it means to be a teenager and a displaced person. This is the story of what comes after, and what it means to remake your home.
Asfar, Maryam and Wiam face the usual challenges of navigating high school – with one difference. They were forced to leave their home countries and everything they knew behind. Now in Australia, they must start not only a new school, in a new country – but also a new life.
The three teenagers join Treehouse Theatre – an after-school theatre group. Guided by three dedicated teachers, they enter into a community that supports them to share their ‘storm stories’. Their history is scripted and transformed into a moving stage performance. Through this process, Asfar, Maryam, Wiam, and 20 other participants move from being defined by their trauma to taking control of their futures.
Although she is safe in Australia, the conflict that drove Asfar and her family out of their home continues to send shockwaves through her life. Aged just 13, she receives news that 9 of her friends have been killed in a bombing at her old school. This devastating moment becomes the basis of her Treehouse Theatre performance which starts a powerful process of healing. She discovers a strength and grace that allows her to honour her loss, while embracing her new life.
Wiam is a typical teenage boy – a larrikin who would rather be cracking jokes than paying attention in class. His irreverent and playful manner disguises the trauma he has experienced at such a young age. Through his drumming performance, Wiam finds an avenue to acknowledge and connect with his past, while continuing to grow in his new home.
Maryam is focused on the future. She is reluctant to talk about the things that brought her here, preferring to focus on her education and future. With ambitions to become Speaker of the House in Parliament, she is ready to embrace the opportunities a new life in Australia offers. But part of moving forward is accepting her own journey and story.
This isn’t your typical refugee film. A coming of age story, this uplifting documentary shares the reality of what it means to be a teenager and a displaced person. This is the story of what comes after, and what it means to remake your home.