Benedict Cumberbatch has teamed up with author Caitlin Moran, rock critic Peter Paphides and filmmaker Mat Whitecross to promote a charity single, with all the proceeds going to the Save the Children refugee appeal. A moving short film by Whitecross (who has worked with Coldplay and Take That) features the re-released Crowded House track Help is Coming, written 20 years ago but equally resonant now. “It was always a song about refugees,” says songwriter Neil Finn, “even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life.” The song is available now to download from iTunes and a 7” vinyl single will be available from September 28. Cumberbatch opens the video with powerful lines by Somali poet Warsan Shire: “No one leaves home unless home is in the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well … No one puts children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.” Footage follows of devastated homes, overcrowded refugee camps, and pleas from desperate adults and children traveling on foot in search of sanctuary. Supporters of the fundraiser are sharing the video on social media with the hashtag #helpiscoming. Every night for the past week, when Cumberbatch completes his performance as Hamlet at London’s Barbican theater, he has been delivering a speech about the crisis before collecting donations in a bucket. As he says in the video: “As people watching this tragedy unfold from the safety of our homes, with our safe children, we want to say that we see you, we hear you and help is coming.”
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