Plymouth Film Club: “Midnight Traveler”
Sun., April 23.
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.