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26. Midnight Traveller; movie review

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Title : 26. Midnight Traveller; movie review
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Cert 15
88 mins
BBFC advice: Contains infrequent very strong language

Four walls, a bed, a toilet, electricity and gas. These are the very basics of a home and what almost all of us take for granted.
Imagine a scenario where none of the above is a given. Indeed, the very country in which you live is not certain.
Frankly, it doesn't matter how many movies about refugees that I watch, I will never be able to put myself in their place.
And I hope I never will - unless politics in the UK changes so dramatically that I am considered a subversive and the only way of saving myself is to flee abroad.
Even then, I am white and middle class so there would have to have been an apocalypse for the western world not to accept my family.
In 2015, after Hassan Fazili’s documentary Peace aired on Afghan national television, the Taliban assassinated the film’s main subject and put a price on Hassan’s head. 
This meant that he, his wife and his young daughters had to flee their home. 
During the next four years, they recorded their search of safety on their camera-phones and he has now edited these videos into a documentary.
Hassan and his wife Fatima are both filmmakers, educating their daughters and encouraging them to be artists, so they all shot the movie.
It begins when they seek and are rejected for refugee protection and follows them along the notorious Balkan smuggling route. 
As they experience increasingly degrading circumstances, they see filmmaking as a way to retain their humanity.
Do they really achieve it? Well, we certainly see more of Fatima's endearing smile than frustrated outbursts but I doubt that the balance is quite what has been presented.
What the Fazilis have endured would test the resolve of even the most determined people. It is a tribute to them that they are still fighting to find a home.
And it is a lesson to all of us that the word refugee should not be so easily interchanged with the word scrounger.
Endangered, threatened or desperate would be far more appropriate.
However, I have to say that while their film is clearly authentic it is difficult viewing because it is edited and often jerky recordings from iPhones without narrative.

Reasons to watch: A rare insight into a refugee family
Reasons to avoid: Nearly one and a half hours of jerky mobile phone footage

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 6/10

Did you know? Iran with 900,000 and Pakistan with 1.5 million are home to the largest Afghan refugee populations. The majority of these refugees live on the average wage of less than $2 per day, which can buy little more than ten pieces of bread.

The final word. Hassan Fazili: "I struggle to make the film realistic and engaging because sometimes I am a father, sometimes a husband, sometimes a director, and sometimes all three roles at once. And sometimes I become one of the characters as well, because at the same time I'm behind the camera, I am in the scene."

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