MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is a documentary from Qatar that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It shows the hardships one refugee family fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan face when trying to escape to Europe. They spend countless days and nights living in forests, safe houses, refugee camps, and even abandoned buildings. For instance, in one scene viewers see the family living in the wilderness for four days in hopes to safely make it across the border while remaining healthy and avoiding police officers who could deport them if they’re caught.
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2019. The movie is innovatively filmed on smartphones and, surprisingly, not disjointed in quality. Viewers get to see every phase of what it’s like to be a refugee looking for protection. Unlike movies filmed in English, viewers need to stay plugged into the action on screen so they can follow the subtitles. MIDNIGHT TRAVELER has a predominantly false religion worldview with depictions of Islam, but it also extols some Christian elements such as conversations about faith and the importance of the family. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(FRFR, B, C, LL, V, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Characters struggle with the idea of continuing with their mother-religion of Islam, with some depictions of Muslim prayer. Moral worldview with mentions of praying to God (but it’s unclear if the God they’re referring to is the God of the Bible) and family values, but Christianity is overtly mentioned and discussed in comparison to how people should act
11 obscenities (some “f” bombs and “h” words) and no profanities
Character recounts when a gang member tried to punch the older daughter, one depiction of blood after a gang fight on a character’s face, mention of gangs wanting to kill migrants
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Smugglers threaten to kidnap the children if they are not given more money, one daughter goes with a man to steal plums because they aren’t being fed, police using electric shocks on migrants, and lots of threats from people around the migrants and refugees.
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is a documentary from Qatar that shows the hardships refugee families encounter when fleeing a country. MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is filmed by a family fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban posted a bulletin wanting the father, Hassan, dead for making a movie about a commander in the Taliban.
The documentary begins with what looks like home videos. These videos show the family happy and healthy, making it look like their lives are not about to be turned upside down. In 2015, the Taliban issued the order for Hassan’s death, and the family is forced to flee for protection. Next, the audience meets the family in Tajikistan, where they are being deported back to Afghanistan after the court ruling their case for asylum was not legitimate.
The family goes back to their home in Afghanistan but knows in order to stay alive they have to flee again. This is where the 3,500-mile journey to Europe begins.
The family catch rides and even walk across many borders to try and not get arrested. They spend countless days and nights living in forests, safe houses, refugee camps, and even abandoned buildings. When the family gets placed in a Bulgarian Refugee Camp, things seem to be looking up, until gangs start violence. They’re forced to leave again for protection. So, the family, and some other refugees, set out for Serbia. There they are placed in another camp and are forced to wait and see if they can make it legally to Hungary to plead their case to the courts.
Will they make it to the European Union and find a permanent home?
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2019. The movie is innovatively filmed on smartphones and, surprisingly, not disjointed in quality. The viewer gets to see every phase of what it’s like to be a refugee looking for protection. Unlike movies filmed in English, viewers need to stay plugged into the action on screen so they can follow the subtitles.
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER has a predominantly false religion worldview with depictions of Islam, but also extols some Christian and moral elements such as conversations about faith and the importance of the family. Movieguide® recommends extreme caution for various elements.
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