With the release of her new short film, Let Me In, Alicia Keys’ latest project joins the ranks of cinematic works by fellow pop artists like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Erykah Badu, though the 35-year old singer is taking things one step further with the nearly 12-minute clip.
The film, available on Keys’ We Are Here website and TIDAL to both subscribers and non-members, was directed by cinematographer Jonathan Olinger, and released in conjunction with World Refugee Day on Monday.
Keys plays an American mother, Zara, living in an alternate reality where Los Angeles has been turned into a fiery battle zone. The film makes a powerful statement as it flips the script on the common narrative surrounding modern refugeeism, forcing Zara and her daughter to flee a fictional, war-torn version of the United States in pursuit of a better life in Mexico.
“I was stunned when I learned that there are more refugees living in the world today than at any other point in history, and half of them are children,” Keys said of Let Me In via press release. “Creating this film really allowed us to imagine, what if we were the refugees? What if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones? How would it feel if this were happening to us?”
Keys’ We Are Here cultural movement has also partnered with CARE, Oxfam and War Child on a new campaign, including the film, which aims to “raise awareness and reinvigorate the conversation around the refugee crisis currently affecting millions around the world.”
Let Me In‘s soundtrack features Keys’ new song, “Hallelujah,” which she also performed on Saturday Night Live in May. The cut, in addition to previous single “In Common,” is set to be included on Keys’ forthcoming, untitled album due for release later this summer.
Watch Keys’ short film, Let Me In, in the video below.