We have been reading for years in all the world’s media about the migrant crisis and the efforts of all these great people from Asia and Africa to reach Europe. Probably in the last ten years, millions of people from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Asian countries have decided to travel from east to west for various reasons, and among them was the family of Hassan Fazili. He, his wife and two young daughters left Kabul after learning that the Taliban had decided to execute him. This happened at a time when the Taliban had not yet taken over Afghanistan again, but all this time they were obviously quite strong and a great danger to all those who did not have worldviews like them.
Fazili and his wife Fatima (both self-taught filmmakers) in Kabul thus ran a café and restaurant where modern men and women gathered. It all went wrong when religious leaders organized a boycott of their cafe. Raids followed and soon they had to close the cafe. Fazili then filmed a documentary about former Taliban commander Muli Tur Jan who renounced jihadism and was soon assassinated. The Taliban then blackmailed Fazili’s head, for which he first fled to Tajikistan and applied for asylum there, but after 14 months, his family was deported to Afghanistan. That’s when the story of this documentary began, which Fazili, his wife and daughters filmed on mobile phones for several years, and a few years later, when they finally got to Germany, these recordings were turned into a documentary that won a handful of awards at world festivals. numerous lists of the best documentaries premiered in 2019.
We follow in this fascinating and actually amazing journey three years of their journey from Afghanistan to the west. Through Tajikistan, Iran and Turkey to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, living in refugee centers, abandoned residential buildings or those under construction, in forests, huts. It brings “Midnight Traveler” so far and perhaps the best insight into what this unimaginable smuggling trip actually looks like. But it is also a personal and intimate story of a family that simply had no choice. From the introductory footage, it seems that the Fazili family did not live so badly in Afghanistan, but when Hassan started to “wave” and make movies, the situation became more complicated.
He and the rest of his family made more than 300 hours of material, and it probably wasn’t easy to turn it into a meaningful documentary that lasted about an hour and a half. And it must be admitted that this whole story is brilliantly rounded off and that the average viewer, who is not too bothered by the fate of Hassan and similar people, really gets an unprecedented insight into this whole refugee process. Although a lot of films have been made so far that deal with the refugee crisis, “Midnight Traveler” is perhaps the first film on the subject that I have had the opportunity to watch that brings that story from within. Which literally takes the viewer with the protagonists, people who do not differ so much from us in their thoughts and views on life, on this horrible and terrifying journey of 3,500 kilometers and several years. Rating 8/10 .
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