Plymouth Film Club: “Midnight Traveler”

Sun., April 23.

12:30 p.m.

Guest Host—Immigration Welcoming Working Group (IWWG). By Joan Thompson

IWWG and Plymouth Film Club are offering a viewing and discussion of Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian’s highly awarded film “Midnight Traveler” (2019, 90 minutes, documentary) on April 23rd. The film begins at 12:30. Joan Thompson and Erika Charlesworth-Seiler from IWWG will co-lead the discussion after the film and offer an additional opportunity to see a brief interview with Emelie Mahdavian and producer Su Kim with insights into the film’s creation. Film Club shows films on the largest “screen” at Plymouth—the entire south wall of Jackman Hall—for enhanced viewing.

Hassan Fazili and his wife Fatima Hussani are Afghan filmmakers. When the Taliban puts a price on Hassan’ head in 2015, the couple flee to Tajikistan with two young daughters. Their asylum claim is rejected; they are deported back to Afghanistan and must engage smugglers in order to flee with the hope of reaching Germany.

The film traces the family’s harrowing journey of three plus years. Filmed entirely on the family’s cell phones by Hassan, Fatima, and Nargis, the older daughter, Midnight Traveler is an intimate look at the family’s lives and the challenges they encounter, as well as the moments of joy they find in the most difficult circumstances.

In the time since the Fazili family’s journey, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a rapid takeover by the Taliban and even more Afghan families fleeing their country. In January, the AP reported unauthorized “migrant entry numbers into Europe hit [a] six-year high” in 2022. According to an EU agency tracking migrations, “Syrians, Afghans and Tunisians together accounted for roughly 47% of the attempted border crossings.”

This film brings the difficult travel and endless waits of these many journeys to light through the eyes of one family. Vanessa H. Larson of the Washington Post wrote, “In showing such a personal . . . view of the global migration crisis through one family’s story, ‘Midnight Traveler’ is a timely, essential film.”

Please join Plymouth Film Club and IWWG to view and discuss this film with 23 wins and 18 nominations at national and international film festivals. Coffee & tea. Lunch: BYO or order sandwiches early from Cajun Boiling (open noon) to pick up by 12:15.

Intersection Returns

In winter and spring of 2021, Plymouth’s Immigrant Welcoming Working Group (IWWG) and Racial Justice Initiative (RJI) offered Intersection, a multi-media book club that included podcasts, documentaries, and articles as well as books. The goal was to learn about racial justice and immigration issues from a historic and current perspective and explore the junctions.

Intersection will return in 2022 with Plymouth’s Climate and Environmental Justice Team joining IWWG and RJI to offer new materials that explore issues unique to each group as well as those that overlap. Intersection will be offered on the 2nd Monday of each month, January through June, 2022, from 5:00-6:30 over zoom. Sessions will provide opportunities to discuss the prework as well as share learnings/reflections.

Materials include:

  • When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors & Asha Bandele – a deeply moving and visceral story about the personal history of one of the founders of Black Lives Matter.
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. The selected chapters serve as an overview of Wilkerson’s concept of caste and how it emerged in America.
  • Silent Sacrifice. A PBS documentary film based on the experience of Japanese Americans before, during and after WWII.
  • Bayou Sutra – Orion Magazine.
  • Immigration Nation. A moving Netflix documentary about immigrants in the U.S.
  • Westminster Town Hall Forum presentation by Jose Antonio Vargas about life in America as an undocumented immigrant.
  • As She Rises. We’ve selected 4 episodes of this podcast which focuses on a specific area of the U.S. that is feeling effects of climate change.
  • Bangladesh: A Climate Trap. Video about Bangladesh climate change refugees who are forced to move to the slums in Dhaka due to environmental degradation.
  • Inequity at the Boiling Point. New York Times article.
  • Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050. New York Times article.

Please register at the link below. Feel free to contact Nancy Siska with any questions.