In This World

2006-03-30 12:26

Afghani cousins Jamal and Enayatullah live in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, on the Afghan border. Jamal, an orphan, scrapes a living in a brick factory and lives in the sprawling Shamshatoo refugee camp. Enayatullah works on his family's market stall. To give him and his family the opportunity of a better life, it is decided that Enayatullah will be sent to England. Jamal persuades the family that he should go too. The pair join the ranks of the 1 million refugees per year who place their lives in the hands of people smugglers.

Their journey is over land: longer and more hazardous than by air, but, crucially, much cheaper. Their route takes them over the border to Iran, across to Tehran, into the mountainous Kurdish region, and on into Turkey. Originally part of the 'Silk Road', it's a well-trodden smugglers' route. From Istanbul, the pair embark on the most gruelling passage - 40 hours sealed in a freight container with other desperate refugees. But for the survivors of the crossing to Italy the road must continue. Across Europe living on wits and luck and finally to the refugee camp at Sangatte, France. Then the last leg, stowing away on a lorry bound for the UK.

This journey is a distillation of the experiences of a multitude of real life asylum seekers and migrants - courageous people seeking a better life, whose stories so often end in tragedy.

What the critics are saying:

"...a powerful piece of guerrilla filmmaking."
- Jamie Russell, BBCi Film

"What makes the film astonishing is that it follows a real boy on a real journey..."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"...this is a reticent film, both emotionally and intellectually, and for some it may be frustrating. But the harrowingly real picture it paints is a daring and ambitious work."
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

This largely unscripted "guerrilla" film follows the story of two Afghan refugees as they make their perilous way along the silk road to the "promised land" of the UK.

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