In This World

Overview

Prolific British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom adds to his impressively diverse oeuvre with this harrowing account of two Afghan refugees' passage to the West in search of a better life. The movie opens at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, where Afghans have sought refuge in the wake of the U.S. military campaign in their country following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The story follows Jamal, an orphaned teenager, and Enayat, his older companion, as they make their way from Pakistan to London. ...
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Overview

Prolific British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom adds to his impressively diverse oeuvre with this harrowing account of two Afghan refugees' passage to the West in search of a better life. The movie opens at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, where Afghans have sought refuge in the wake of the U.S. military campaign in their country following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The story follows Jamal, an orphaned teenager, and Enayat, his older companion, as they make their way from Pakistan to London. Traveling in the back of trucks, by bus, and on foot, the two cross Central Asia in an arduous journey punctuated by encounters with hostile border guards and shady smugglers. Even more traumatic is the ocean voyage from Turkey to Italy, during which Jamal and Enayat are forced to hide in a shipping container with other asylum seekers, including a terrified infant. Winterbottom shot the movie vérité-style on digital video, and the smudgy look and quick cutting betray the movie's guerrilla roots. Enhancing its raw veneer is Winterbottom's reliance on improvised dialogue and non-actors. A stirring work of advocacy, this flawed but wrenching film won the Golden Bear at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Elbert Ventura
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Michael Winterbottom's In This World represents a stark departure from his previous film, the jaunty 24 Hour Party People, but such eclecticism has come to be expected from the protean British director. Inspired by the refugee plight in Europe and the virulent strain of xenophobia that has accompanied it, Winterbottom set out to make a movie detailing the dangerous journey migrants from the Third World make to find a better life in the more prosperous West. The movie narrows its focus to two refugees, but their story is clearly meant to be emblematic of the larger narrative of desperate migration. Shot on the back roads and border crossings of Central Asia, it was literally made on the run: Winterbottom and his skeleton crew followed their leads as they recreated the scary odyssey from Pakistan to London. Befitting its ragtag genesis, the movie feels pieced together and oddly truncated. (It runs at a brisk 88 minutes, belying the laborious trek it chronicles.) For all its insistent naturalism, the film bears evidence of Winterbottom's showmanship, which isn't necessarily a good thing. A nighttime fast-motion sequence that recalls Winterbottom's own Wonderland is lovely but out of place; a reverse tracking shot of a despondent Jamal registers as unnecessarily heavy-handed. Thankfully, Winterbottom exercises restraint for most of the movie, allowing the scenario's inherent drama to play out unembellished. Fueled by an invigorating sense of urgency, this imperfect film finally comes across as a touching gesture of humanism. It may falter occasionally, but In This World leaves an undeniably moving and memorable imprint.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/2/2004
  • UPC: 758445903324
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Showtime Ent.
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jamal Udin Torabi Jamal
Enayatullah Enayat
Abdul Ahmad Groom
Ramzan Ali driver
Chaman Ali driver
Abdul Almad groom
Bayram Arjangi truck driver
Kerem Atabeyoglu policeman
Ahmad Azami Kurdish father
Yusef Azami Kurdish son
Hossain Baghaeian Behrooz
Allah Bauhsh Farid
Mr. Dehghame Bus Driver
Mr. Delghame bus driver
Jaffa Eghbali 4WD driver
Mr. Eghdame bus driver
Nabil Elouahabi Yusif
Hiddayatullah Enayat's brother
Xavier Jamaux Enayat's father
Wakeel Khan Enayat's uncle
Imran Paracha travel agent
Yaaghoob Nosraj Poor Kurdish father
Ghodrat Poor Kurdish mother
Mehdi Poor Kurdish baby
Paul Popplewell Voice Only
Rasheed Soldier Shaheen
Ahsan Raza money changer
Erham Sekizcan factory boss
Mirwais Torabi Jamal's older brother
Amanullah Torabi Jamal's younger brother
Mr. Yusuf bus driver
Lal Zarin Enayat's uncle
Parvin Cox Singer
Dario Marianelli Conductor
Technical Credits
Michael Winterbottom Director
Chris Auty Executive Producer
Wendy Brazington Casting
Peter Christelis Editor
Andrew Eaton Producer
Tony Grisoni Screenwriter
Behrooz Hashemian Co-producer
Josh Hyams Production Manager
Dario Marianelli Score Composer
Fiona Neilson Associate Producer
Anita Overland Producer
Laura Phillips Production Manager
Shahriar Shahbazzadeh Production Manager
Joakim Sundström Sound Editor
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
Stuart Wilson Sound Mixer
Marcel Zyskind Cinematographer
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