In the final fifteen years of the life of legendary director Orson Welles he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on a film, The Other Side of the Wind, in itself a film about an aging film director trying to finish his last great movie.
Set amid the global news-storm of September 2015, when the worldwide press descended on the refugees to cover their migration across Europe, Another News Story looks beyond the headlines to tell the stories of both the news teams and refugees who have undertaken this journey. As the film pans out you understand the story is an intimate display of what life is really like for both the migrants and the reporting journalists. It travels the fine line very carefully between criticism and emotional blackmail allowing the viewer to begin to understand how it is that these two juxtaposed roles coexist in such a tragic and unfathomable situations. The film follows in particular the stories of three characters. Johny and Bruno the news characters you meet at the beginning and Mahasen a Syrian woman, travelling with a family of 9, in a bid to reunite with her children. Set against the backdrop of the archive news reports which guide the narrative, we follow the story as it sweeps across the ...
A magnificent and epic documentary of historic proportions
This film, recently screened for the first time, should be seen by everybody. It is the first film by talented Orban Wallace, a young English filmmaker who has directed and co-produced the film. He and his intrepid cameraman Josh Allott have made a unique film which portrays in the most vivid manner possible the mass migrations affecting Europe (they do not cover the Africans coming from Libya). The coverage begins in Lesbos and works its way up to Northern Europe, with incredible footage of what took place at the Hungarian wall, and culminating in a study of the muddying of the story by the terrorist horrors in Paris. Wallace and Allott slept in a tent beside the immigrants every night, got to know them well, and followed certain individuals all the way or linked up with them in stages. But the most unusual thing about this film is that it gives equal coverage to the media's coverage of the stories, so that we see for the first time ever an in-depth portrayal of how the media report these events, and then we see the events themselves, and even the media filming the events, with many interviews of the media men and women themselves on the ground while it is all happening. It is thus a four-dimensional film, giving an eerie feeling that one is being illicitly permitted to view a kind of hyper-reality, as if one were a deity observing all of this from above. One could call it 'the Zeus view of things', but as seen from the ground, amidst the indescribable dirt, grime, filth, chaos, rubbish, and madness of this tidal wave of humanity sweeping in hordes across a continent, like toothless Genghis Khans who have no horses and no weapons, only a migratory urge and a desperate need to go forward to unknown destinations which they intend to populate forever. Nothing I have ever seen about the immigration crisis in Europe has come anywhere near this 90 minute film in portraying what is really and truly happening, its beauty, its mystery, and its horror. Anyone who wants to know and understand the truth must see this film. It is the only one. All the others pale beside it. There are two real-life super-stars who feature in this film, both of them encountered by the filmmakers by chance. The first is one of the West's most remarkable TV news reporters, named Bruno, who comes across as a mixture of a chain-smoking Donald Sutherland and a Clint Eastwood who has forgotten to want to make his day. The other is a Syrian woman named Mahasen, who speaks impeccable English and whose pathetic wishes and dreams are followed in all their stages, by foot, by trudge, by bus, by taxi, by train. I shall not ruin the viewers' suspense by telling how it all turns out for her. But many a tear shall form in the eyes of the beholders. So many cute little children smile and laugh and play in the midst of horrifying journeys of thousands of miles, most of it by foot. There is a man who has come from Afghanistan on crutches, and a girl in a wheelchair from Syria (not, as far as I could make out, the now famous authoress Najeen). The film is peppered with clips, by its brilliant editor, from the simultaneous TV news bulletins covering the very same events, as seen in many countries. We thus are able to see for the first time the entire panoply of media attitudes and coverage worldwide to the very events which this film shows in an ongoing fashion. It is a real education, and the comparison between reality and the manufactured perceptions of reality are a lesson for our time. This film should be shown in all schools everywhere. There is nothing in it unsuitable for viewing by children, unless one wishes to shield them entirely from reality, that is. The film does not make political commentaries, and is not tendentious. Its message is a human message, a social message, a cultural message, but it is wholly non-partisan and does not preach. The restraint shown in refusing to preach politics is truly remarkable. This film is therefore not a sermon, it is a testament. So far it seems that this film has no planned release, either theatrical or on DVD, and it has had only three screenings. It will be entered in further film festivals, in the hope of attracting distribution interest. Distributors should be thundering like a herd towards the producers, begging for it. It looks great on the big screen, and is such a breathtaking spectacle, and is so overwhelming in its very English 'no comment' approach, that no one's reactions are ever manipulated. All are free to react without being beaten into submission by any views the filmmaker may privately hold. This is the audience's own film, and that is the highest form of filmmaking.
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