(director: Ai Weiwei; screenwriters: Tim Finch/Chin-Chin Yap/Boris Cheshirkov; cinematographers: Ai Weiwei, Murat Bay, Christopher Doyle, Huang Wenhai, Konstantinos Koukoulis, Renaat Lambeets, Li Dongxu, Lv Hengzhong, Ma Yan, Johannes Waltermann, Xie Zhenwei, Zhang Zanbo.; editor: Niels Pagh Andersen; music: Karsten Fundal.; cast: Israa Abboud, Hiba Abed, Rami Abu Sondos; Runtime: 140; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Ai Weiwei, Chin-chin Yap, Heino Deckert; Amazon Studios; 2017- Germany-Italy-in English)
“It’s a conventional and thoughtful documentary.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Chinese artist, filmmaker and activist Ai Weiwei (“So Sorry”/”One Recluse”) tells us in a magnificently visual way (using both drone TV cameras and cameras on the ground) about the immense current refugee problem in the world and the high number of people displaced since 2010 (more than 65 million people have been forced to leave their homeland because of famine, unemployment, climate change and war, the greatest displacement since World War II).
Over the course of one year in 23 countries, Weiwei follows the human disaster across the globe, including places like Afghanistan, France, Greece, Bangladesh, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. Included in this startling comprehensive overview of human suffering is a visit to Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world located in Kenya. The one connecting problem for all refugees is the loss of dignity. Ai appears throughout offering his commentary, plus there are interviewees for each visit from the UN and other NGOs.
It’s a conventional and thoughtful documentary highlighting a serious contemporary problem that no one in the world seems willing or able to solve. It’s activist journalism at its best, as its no nonsense approach leaves its urgent message so that no one can use the excuse they didn’t know what was happening.
REVIEWED ON 1/21/2018 GRADE: B+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/