Date: Monday, September 9, 2019
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is a feature-length autobiographical documentary chronicling the struggles of a family of Afghan filmmakers on the run after becoming targets of the Taliban.
Location: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA
Director: Hassan Fazili
Film Details: 2019, 87 minutes, DCP, color, sound, in Afghan Persian with English subtitles
Winner of a World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for No Borders at the Sundance Film Festival. Winner of a Special Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival. Official Selection of the True/False Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs, and SFFilm Festival.
Producer/Writer/Editor Emelie Mahdavian to attend via Skype for Q&A!
About the Film:
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.
MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is a feature-length autobiographical documentary chronicling the struggles of a family of Afghan filmmakers on the run after becoming targets of the Taliban. Touching on topics of broad political interest like the refugee crisis in Europe, the film puts a human face on these issues by providing first-person access to one family’s choices, anxieties, and hopes as they try to survive deportation, a life in hiding, and the smuggling route to Europe.
“A remarkable achievement… [An] affecting, essential documentary… while there have been numerous documentaries which deal with the plight of asylum seekers, there have been few which have shown, with this level of intimacy, the journey of a family from certain danger to an uncertain fate… It’s a film which deserves to be as widely seen as possible… ” – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
About the Director:
Hassan Fazili created theater, documentaries, short films, and several popular television serials in Afghanistan. In 2011, he was selected by the British Council to attend Sheffield/DocFest for documentary filmmaking networking and training. His films Mr. Fazili’s Wife and Life Again! both push the envelope on issues of women’s, children’s and disability rights in Afghanistan, and have screened and won awards at numerous international festivals. He also worked as a Location Manager for Feo Aladag’s In Between Worlds, which premiered at Berlinale 2014, and as a Camera Operator for the IDFA selection Voice of A Nation: My Journey Through Afghanistan. His documentary Peace in Afghanistan, made for national television, profiled Taliban commander Mullah Tur Jan, who laid down arms in favor of a peaceful civilian life.
“Midnight Traveler has a home-movie quality that’s enormously effective in putting a human face on a global crisis. There are many thousands of families out there just like Fazili’s, seeking shelter from a never-ending storm. The film makes them visible.” – Scott Tobias, Variety
Afghanistan’s Lost Films
6 Minutes, 2019, Dari with English subtitles
In the mid-1990s, the Taliban banned movies in Afghanistan, burning some film reels and leaving others to decay. Now, an elite team of film archivists in Kabul is working to conserve them as part of a years-long government program that aims to digitize about a century’s worth of Afghan documentaries and films over the next six months.
Videographer: Jordan Bryon
Editor: Joyce Lee
Reporters: Siobhán O’Grady & Sharif Hassan
Photographer: Kiana Hayeri