Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In This World

As part of my Michael Winterbottom film fest, I watched In This World.

The last 2 Winterbottom films I've watched, Jude (yuck, I'm still traumatized by it) and Wonderland, In This World beats both of them hands down. I am so happy that he went back to his docudrama style a la Welcome to Sarajevo and 24 Hour Party People. In This World should be viewed by every single person who reads this. It's about Afghan refugees living in Pakistan who get smuggled, stow away, walk and run to get to London. The 2 main characters, Jamal and Emyhat ... I think that's how it's spelled ... are non-actors and the dialogue is wholly improvised. In fact, in one scene a real Iranian policeman is used and he basically just did his job as he normally does during the scene. Winterbottom had to lie his way across Asia in order to film. There's a scene where they are smuggled across the Adriatic Sea in a shipping container ... just bloody tragic ... but I'm sure this happens all the time. Just like the stories we in America hear about, but at least there isn't a major waterway separating us from Central America. Anyway, I guess the actor who played Jamal is really a refugee living in London, but will have to return to Pakistan on his 18th birthday ... a sad ending to a very important film. I felt the same way after watching In This World as I did when I watched Osama ... another very important film that everyone needs to see ... similar in style, using non-actors. I will say that Osama depressed me more since it involves a little girl who will never get out of Afghanistan, at least Jamal made it to London.

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