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In This World (2002)

Jamal Udin Torabi , Enayatullah , Michael Winterbottom  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jamal Udin Torabi, Enayatullah, Imran Paracha, Hiddayatullah, Jamau
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom
  • Writers: Tony Grisoni
  • Producers: Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland, Behrooz Hashemian, Chris Auty, David M. Thompson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018D3V4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In This World" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by wrtier Tony Grisoni and director Michael Winterbottom
  • Director's introduction
  • US & UK trailers

Editorial Reviews

Michael Winterbottom's amazing In This World is a docudrama that reportedly re-creates the harrowing journey of two young Afghan males smuggled, one step at a time, from a long-established refugee camp in Pakistan across central Asia to their London destination. Shot with remarkable fluidity and narrative thoroughness in what appears many times to be dangerous situations with border guards and untrustworthy handlers (in Iran, Istanbul, Turkey, and France), In This World is anchored by non-actors Jamal Udin Torabi and Enayatullah, playing characters of the same names. The rapid pace and frequent fade-outs in this 88-minute film paradoxically force one's imagination to underscore the agonizing slowness and anxiety of the young men's trip, a technique that becomes nightmarish when Jamal and Enayat are locked for days, with other refugees, inside a ship's container. Winterbottom (24-Hour Party People) and his characteristically protean style maintain remarkable inventiveness throughout. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

The journey to freedom has no borders. In This World follows the hazardous journey of two Afghan boys as they travel from Pakistan through Iran, Turkey, Italy, France and the UK in search of refuge in London. A moving and dramatic story that reveals the desperate measures people take to escape persecution and the life-threatening conditions they find themselves in along the way.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Desparate Travel October 22, 2004
The cinematography of this film is sparse and naked, the pacing as if you are following the tale of lives, the acting like there is no acting at all, and the subject matter relevant. If you need edited and spliced quick action pacing and effects, go elsewhere. If you care about the broadening of horizons and want to learn more about the experience of a middle-east refugee, watch this film.

Michael Winterbottom, the director of In This World, make some important choices. One, his casting of actual refugees instead of professional actors, lend great authenticity to the story. My favorite aspect of the movie is the location shooting in places rarely viewed by a Western audience. The tale starts in a border refugee camp between Afghanistan and Pakistan outside of Peshawar. A youth, brave and wise beyond his years, and an older relative take off on a journey to the promised land of London. On the way they go through Quetta, Qom, Teheran, Turkey, Belgium, and eventually on to London. The journey is grueling and harrowing and makes the refugee camp look like another form of paradise.

The pacing may be slow and there is a lot of silence in the movie but the sense of travel, trust and deserved mistrust stays with you. People put their lives in the hands of human traffickers all for the dream of something better...if they survive to reach something better.

If you care about international issues of refugees and their plight, you will be rewarded by this film. If you are interested in some of the dynamics between Afghanistan and Pakistan, you will be glad you took this one in. If you only tend towards mainstream flicks and have a need to be entertained, well look elsewhere.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic tale of refugees July 18, 2004
This film tells the story of Jamal (Jamal Udin Torabi) and Enayat (Enayatullah), two young men who attempt the underground journey from a refugee camp in Afghanistan to London. Both characters are played by real refugees, non-actors who actually lived the type of story portrayed here. Director Michael Winterbottom followed the route taken by his protagonists, using guerilla filmmaking techniques such as filming in the actual locations, reportedly recording people, at times, when they did not know that they were being filmed. Night scenes were shot with night vision equipment and appear to show confrontations with actual border guards; the black-and-white photography of these sequences, in which the characters eyes seem to glow in the dark, takes on a nightmarish quality. Some may find the film slow--it does not develop its characters in a traditional way through scenes and dialogue, but shows their qualities through the tenacity and courage that they display during their trip. The constant motion and eerie musical score contribute to a hypnotic, trance-like feel that imbues its characters with a sense of being entirely consumed with their journey from a dismal past into an uncertain, frightening future. The scene in a shipping container is particularly harrowing. The only sour note comes at the very beginning; Winterbottom mentions US responsibility for the plight of many Afghan refugees without acknowledging the complicity of the Taliban as well. Nevertheless, this is not an overtly political film, but rather a very human and intimate one about the terrible risks people are willing to take to get to a land of opportunity./
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Guerilla Film-Making April 11, 2004
Just saw Michael Winterbottom's compelling new movie In this World. In it, two young Afghani men Enayat and Jamal attempt to make it from Peshawar, Pakistan to London, England via a human smuggling operation. It's a rigously realistic portrayal, essentially a fictional documentary, cinema verite shot in digital video. Winterbottom packs a lot in as Enayat and Jamal pass through a dizzying array of cities and cultures on their way towards . . . tragedy. The little help they receive along the way, they receive warily, wisely unsure whether to trust any who offer it.
The films opens with some facts:
>The United States spent almost 8 billion bombing the Taliban in Afghanistan
>Many Afghanis moved to Peshawar to avoid the bombing--and, I'm sure, because many were made homeless
>There are 14 million refugees in the world
>1 million of them are in Peshawar
Providing this already stunning movie with even more impact: the character of Jamal is portrayed by a young Afghani named Jamal who really made the journey himself. Winterbottom and his crew took him back to Peshawar where they recreated the story, a story anyway of a similar journey, simply by asking people to relive their experiences.
In this World deserves notice, and Winterbottom deserves, not an Academy award--those come too cheaply--but some sort of humanitarian award for drawing attention to the subject. (It did win the Golden Bear, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Peace Film Prize at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival.) I wish everyone who arranged and executed the bombing of Afghanistan could see it. We may be able to justify the freeing of the Afghani people from the treacherous Taliban, but can we really justify the lack of attention we're giving the innocents affected by that campaign?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching
Fantastic movie
Heartwarming and tragic
Published 9 days ago by Ken Oldfield
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must - See for understanding the plight of any refugee seeking a...
A touching and moving film about the blight of refugees - just as relevant today as when it was filmed. A must see!
Published 24 days ago by Ellen of Studio City, CA
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent film that needed to be made
Be warned; don't watch this film with a strong moral view regarding immigration legal or otherwise this is simply the story of what many go through in order to reach the west. Read more
Published on July 3, 2007 by Gogol
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay.
I feel that the words "gripping documentary film" is inacurate for two reasons. I would not quite call it a documentary, as it is all reinactment, and, secondly, I think "gripping"... Read more
Published on April 9, 2007 by B. W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual combination
Terrific film, realistic and informative, and dramatic without being overly dramatic. Shot like a documentary, and usually with the slower pace of a documentary, too. Read more
Published on September 28, 2005 by sparky
5.0 out of 5 stars I am glad I finally saw it...
I watched this movie with a lump in my throat. While I can understand how to some people, this film may have lacked some background information, to me, it was just perfect. Read more
Published on August 20, 2005 by Rouba El-Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and moving
This movie is powerful and shot in such a way that it feels real. This movie gives us the perspective of two Afghan refugees who want to get from Pakistan to London, and reveals... Read more
Published on August 16, 2005 by Mohammad Mojaddidy
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Human Smuggling Story
This is a fascinating film and well worth watching.

The human smuggling drama unfolds steadily with a few good plot twists, as the 2 main characters trek across two... Read more
Published on November 26, 2004 by D. HupFons
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhilarating journey
Motivated by a news story about 58 Chinese immigrants found suffocated in a container at Dover, In This World by Michael Winterbottom is a passionate tribute to the nearly one... Read more
Published on November 25, 2004 by Howard Schumann
3.0 out of 5 stars Fiction or Documentary? You Decide
Michael Winterbottom's In This World is basically a sort of documentary-cum-drama where we follow a real Afghan boy as he travels from a refugee camp in Pakistan to hopefully a... Read more
Published on October 25, 2004 by neon rebel
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