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Director: Hassan Fazili

Screenwriter: Emelie Mahdavian

Producer: Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim

Editor: Emelie Mahdavian

Co-Editor: Kristina Motwani

Music: Gretchen Jude


Midnight Traveler

Midwest Premiere • documentary • USA, Qatar, UK, Canada • 2019 • DCP • 87 MIN

section: New International Documentaries

When the Taliban called for the death of filmmaker Hassan Fazili in 2015, he and his family fled their home in Afghanistan. After 14 months of failed asylum applications, Fazili, his wife Fatima Hussaini, and their young daughters Zahra and Nargis were deported from Tajikistan, and they began creating this deeply personal document of their experience as refugees. Entirely shot on three cellphones, Midnight Traveler tracks their perilous journey as they attempt to find a permanent home in Europe by traveling a long, uncertain path through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The family encounters incessant obstacles including bureaucratic delays, corrupt smugglers, and anti-immigrant violence, but the film also shows the joy they find to fight quieter pressures, like one of the daughters overcoming her boredom by dancing to Michael Jackson at a refugee camp. As the film and their journey progress, Fazili questions the purpose of the project and its effects on his perspective. Midnight Traveler offers a poetic look at a global crisis, an intimate, first-person portrait of one family's fear and hope as they face immediate threats, endless waiting, and an uncertain future. Special Jury Award, 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (MSJ)

Presented with support from UW–Madison Middle East Studies Program

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