The Global Search for Education: An Interview with Director Juliette Rogasik on Conveying the Plight of Child Refugees

C. M. Rubin
3 min readAug 8, 2023

This month, audiences can screen Fledgling on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by Planet Classroom

Fledgling, a heartrending film by Juliette Rogasik, portrays the struggles of child refugees. Through the story of a young boy finding solace in his harsh reality, the film captivates and devastates viewers as they discover his imagined bird companion symbolizes the desperate circumstances these children endure.

In the compelling interview that follows, we hear from Juliette, the creative force behind the thought-provoking film. The director discusses her inspiration for the film, its powerful message regarding child refugees, and the visual techniques used to convey the story’s impact.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Juliette Rogasik.

Juliette, what inspired you to create Fledgling, and what message or theme did you aim to convey through the film?

Fledgling was originally a short story I wrote after reading an article about children of the war in Syria in 2013. The struggles of the children felt distant, so I made a film to bring it closer to home, highlighting the plight of refugee children and the importance of providing them shelter and support. The ending reveals that the bird was the child’s imagination, evoking a sense of crushed dreams. I wanted viewers to feel the simplicity of a child’s hope amidst dire circumstances.

How did you approach the portrayal of the little boy’s journey and his relationship with the “bird” in Fledgling?

I aimed to tell a simple yet powerful story, like a fable, that emphasizes both the urgency of the refugee crisis and the simple solutions available to us. Through the child’s perspective, using a regional Arabic dialect, I wanted to convey the criticality of the issue and inspire action to bring healing, help, and hope to those in need.

Can you discuss the significance of the film’s visual style and animation techniques in conveying the story and capturing the audience’s attention?

The film utilizes simple 2D animation to reflect the experience of viewing life through a child’s eyes and their imaginative games.

What impact do you hope Fledgling will have on viewers, particularly in raising awareness or inspiring action regarding the issue of child refugees?

The refugee crisis challenges our self-identity, status quo, and comfort zones. I hope Fledgling touches viewers at their core, raising awareness and inspiring action to address the urgent needs of child refugees worldwide.

Thank you Juliette!

C.M. Rubin and Juliette Rogasik

Don’t Miss Fledgling, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated by Planet Classroom.