Escape to Nowhere


About this Item

140,000 refugees are living in refugee camps along the border between Thailand and Laos. Domenica Garcia is a doctor treating the sick and injured mainly among the Hmong people. Radharc spent time with her and heard the stories of some of the refugees. 

  • Title
    Escape to Nowhere
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Pat Hayes (Dubbing)
    Dermod McCarthy (Unit Manager)
    Daibhi Doran (Editor)
    Joe Dunn (Director)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    Escape to Nowhere
  • Extended description

    The Radharc team spends time with Domenica Garcia a doctor working with refugees along the border between Thailand and Laos, at the Nong Khai camp. Narrator and director Fr Joe Dunn describes the working and the structure of a "transit centre" and a refugee camp.

    Although much looks normal on the surface at Nong Khai Dr Garcia explains that there are grave problems of over crowding and poor sanitation. There are two and a half persons for each square metre of space. This congestion promotes the spread of infection and makes the risk of an epidemic extremely high.

    Dr Garcia tells the story of a 13 year old Hmong girl who was shot in the back while travelling to Thailand. The bullet is still lodged in her abdomen. The girl describes the journey as she set out with 14 family members but after the attack they became separated and 11 are now missing including her parents. 

    Joe Dunn describes the international attitudes to refugees from Indochina and the hopes that many have that they will be able to make new lives in a better place. American immigration officials are primarily interested in those who had some connection with the United States of America in the past.

    Joe Dunn uses the poignant device of a letter written from the point of view of a refugee in the Nong Khai camp to describe the conditions and the effects they have on the individuals who have to endure them.

    Dr Garcia tells the story of a 14 year old boy who was shot crossing the river with his family. The boy's leg is gangrenous as a result of his wounds and awaits amputation. 


  • Information

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

  • Local keywords
    Radharc, Catholic Church, Religion, Refugees, Refugee Camp, Children, Conflicts.
  • Geographical coverage
    Cambodia, Nong Khai, Thailand, Laos
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)