Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, In This World is a drama that bears witness, with documentary immediacy, to the courageous perseverance of two Afghan refugees as they make their way through hell in the belief that a better life awaits them as illegal immigrants in England. The phenomenally versatile British director Michael Winterbottom renders one of the defining issues of our era in dramatically personal terms.
“Using small digital video cameras, improvisation, guerrilla filming and available light, Winterbottom follows the overland refugee route from Pakistan through Iran, Turkey and Italy up to Sangatte, Dover and beyond. This is a route littered with stolen cash, broken dreams and dead bodies: a sickening reverse of the hippy trail where the poor and unhoused of Asia head for the prosperity and welfare payouts of western Europe. Winterbottom uses two Afghan non-professionals, Jamal Udin Torabi and Enayatullah, more or less playing themselves as a 16-year-old and his older cousin, and tracks them, as it were in real time, after they bet their borrowings and life savings on a terrifying one-way ticket to Kilburn High Road in London, where another cousin is waiting for them… How many other commercially successful directors, at 40-plus, would head off to the Afghan border to rough it with a DV camera? Winterbottom did, and this prolific and intelligent film-maker has earned another success.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian