The film's emphasis is on the pitiful conditions for Jewish refugees in Europe after the war, as antisemitism was still rife and poverty was common. It also shows how emigration to the British Mandate of Palestine became a goal for many, but that British immigration rules often resulted in them being detained in camps in Cyprus. The eventual formation of the State of Israel is then shown, with emphasis on the debates in the White House between Palestinian Jews, President Harry S. Truman, and the United Nations.
The Long Way Home is narrated by Morgan Freeman and features the voices of Edward Asner, Sean Astin, Martin Landau, Miriam Margolyes, David Paymer, Nina Siemaszko, Helen Slater, and Michael York. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1998.