Poster for In This World

In This World

2002, Drama, 1h 28m

63 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Using documentary-style filmmaking to blur the lines between fact and fiction. In This World tells a harrowing but important story about the plight of refugees. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this dramatic re-creation, Jamal (Jamal Udin Torabi) and Enayat (Enayatullah) escape from the wretched Shamshatoo Refugee Camp in northwest Pakistan and embark on a perilous journey to England, where Jamal's uncle lives. Though they are initially caught by Iranian authorities and sent back, they ultimately make it through Iran to Istanbul, Turkey, smuggled there by paid human traffickers. To get to Italy, they must risk being shipped, and spend over a day in an unventilated container.

Cast & Crew

Imran Paracha
Travel Agent (Pakistan)
Hiddayatullah
Enayat's Brother (Pakistan)
Allah Bauhsh
Farid (Pakistan)
Hossain Baghaeian
Behrooz (Iran)
Yaaghoob Nosraj Poor
Kurdish Father (Iran)
Ghodrat Poor
Kurdish Mother (Iran)
Kerem Atabeyoglu
Policeman (Turkey)
Erham Sekizcan
Factory Boss (Turkey)
Tony Grisoni
Screenwriter
Dario Marianelli
Original Music
Marcel Brennan
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for In This World

Audience Reviews for In This World

  • Feb 10, 2011
    In This World charts the journey of two Afghan refugee brothers who leave their camp in Peshawar, Pakistan to seek a new life in London. The epic voyage of Jemal and Emayat is an archetypal refugee journey from East to West; in a film lasting just 90 minutes, director Michael Winterbottom weaves together a taut and powerful narrative, encapsulating the encounters and journeys-within-journeys that characterise refugee lives. Relatives of the two brothers give all they can to send them on their way; 'agents' of migration variously help and hinder their journey; policemen fleece them at the border crossings. From Peshawar to Sangatte (where would-be migrants to Britain crowd the French coast), the coherent and transfixing narrative brings together the names and places associated with countless refugee journeys. On Jemal and Enayat's journey there are so many glimpses of the world around - some enlightening, others mysterious - that you could watch this film again and again and be fascinated by new details each time. The early stages of the journey reveal the stunning emptiness of Central Asian landscapes, with vast plains stretching out towards impossibly far-off mountains. The journey across Asia reveals some very different - and occasionally alarming - road usage, whilst the briefest of pauses in rural Iran captures a little of the traditions involved in welcoming and sending-off guests. Among the most striking asides in this film for me is the footage of a cow being slaughtered by the halal method; just a few eye-opening moments are afforded to this episode. The film is, for all these fascinating glimpses, tightly woven around the story of Jemal and Enayat. The portrayal of their difficulties and sufferings is devastatingly powerful; the jerky, panic-stricken footage at the Turkish border and the dark and claustrophobic nightmare of the shipping container remain long and vivid in the memory. Although Winterbottom rarely lets the pace of the film slacken - indeed, he hardly has the option in such a wide-ranging and ambitious undertaking - snatches of conversation, bickering and camaraderie develop the two brothers' characters: they feel like real people. Jemal's humorous stories are particularly important in this regard, and, for me, the parodying of creation myths in these tales also suggests a much-warranted poking of fun at Western audiences, who often take a condescending interest in 'quaint' traditions. Through the use of a voice-over in the early stages of the film and recurring resort to a map to help chart the brothers' journey, Winterbottom adds overtly documentary-style elements to his film. These elements seem to me to jar with the rest of the film; there is no real need to add them to an otherwise immersive and realistic picture. On the other hand, whilst the musical score by Dario Marianelli seems jarring to begin with, it soon becomes an essential part of the film: a theme to match an exhaustingly emotional experience as we watch the migrants on their journey.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2009
    Revealing, studied window into people migration from Pakistan to the UK. Humbling sacrifice at every turn gets you routing for the leads and challenges you to question your views on immigration.
    Gordon A Super Reviewer

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