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The story of two Scottish "squaddies" (young, trainee soldiers) who hitchhike to Budapest to go to a concert of the band Simple Minds. The film is a love triangle between the two soldiers and one beautiful Hungarian girl.
In February 2002 in the Shamshatoo Refugee Camp in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, there are 53,000 refugees living in sub-human conditions since 1979 with the Soviet Union invasion and 2001 with the USA bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. The family of the Afghan Enayat and his cousin Jamal decides to send them illegally to London to have a better life. They hire coyotes to smuggle the cousins through Iran and Turkey to Italy and finally London hidden inside trucks and containers. However, the long journey locked in a container with other families separates the cousins and on 09 August 2002, Jamal has his asylum application refused in London. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The film had two working titles before settling on its final name. While it was being shot, it was known as "The Silk Road". This was primarily as a cover, since officials in many countries were told the film was a documentary about that historical subject. Later, it was known as "M1187511", which was the UK Home Office's file number for the real-life Jamal's application for refugee status. Before its release however, the title was changed to "In This World". As Michael Winterbottom describes on the DVD, the title came from a line in the film where Jamal was translated as saying that a central character was dead. Jamal informed Winterbottom, on seeing this, that it was inaccurate. What he had actually said was that the man was "no longer in this world". Hence the film's title. See more »
This is Jamal, calling from London. Yes... yes, I got to London. Enayat? He's not here. He's not in this world.
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Moving, gritty, a brilliant docu-drama that should be seen
This film deserves a wide audience - and we are constantly reminded what or who is in this world, and what that entails. The story line is simple: two Afghan refugees, dispossessed in their land, struggling to survive (on 1 US $ a day, search for new life in a promised land - either the United Kingdom (London) or the USA.
We are all aware of the prejudice meted out to those of middle Eastern descent by the leaders of these 'first world countries'; we are also aware that war and the rampage of war leads to dog-eats-dog scenario.
Without preaching, the director takes us (through an involvement with the young leads, apparently not trained actors) through this world, moving from Afghanistan, to the East (Iran, Pakistan), and landing in Europe (Turkey, Italy, England).
What struck me throughout was the single-mindedness displayed by the younger actors, as they have to cope with a world at once alien and familiar to them.
There are moments of intense kindness by strangers, balanced by the manipulation of others who are motivated by greed and an unempathetic bureaucracy too.
Acting is naturalistic: there are some brilliant cameo shots - and Winterbottom has achieved a Herculean task; the film comes across as a real, hands-on documentary that is unscripted, and where events unfold before one's eyes.
Aided by voice-overs and a montage of black and white images, this has a feel of historic truth, a sense of actuality about it. I was moved by this film, totally.
It is a cry from the director's soul, and (unfortunately) won't reach the people it should. Refreshing, sensitive and an absolute must-see.
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