Part of SFFILM Festival
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
Producer, writer, and editor Emelie Mahdavian and co-editor Kristina Motwani are expected to attend all screenings.
SFFILM presents a collaboration with the essential NGO Human Rights Watch, a global leader in research and advocacy around human rights topics. While Midnight Traveler touches on many concerns, the freedom of artists is top of mind and will kick off our conversation with Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, at Human Rights Watch.
When the Taliban forces filmmakers and married couple Hassan Fazili and Fatima Hussaini to flee Afghanistan with their two daughters, they begin filming their time on the road, which includes running across borders, sleeping on roadsides, interacting with smugglers, and staying at multiple refugee camps along the way. Poetically shot entirely on three cell phones, Midnight Traveler immerses viewers in the ongoing and heartbreaking refugee crisis, capturing the family at their most desperate and yet most loving, as they try to stay hopeful without a place to call home.
“With Midnight Traveler, Afghan filmmaker Hassan Fazili, alongside his wife Fatima Hussaini, uses technology in a desperate and tenacious attempt to reclaim his family’s agency after they are forced to flee Afghanistan and make the illegal and perilous journey to Europe.
“…[It] is a film about a family, about the hardship and inhumanity they have endured, about their bravery, about their love, about their hope, and, above all else, about their desire to be safe and in control of their lives and bodies and destinies and fates.” – Gary Garrison, The Playlist
Hassan Fazili developed plays and television shows in his native Afghanistan, in addition to documentaries and short films. His short films include Life Again! (2009) and Mr. Fazili’s Wife (2011). Of his decision to document his family’s flight from Afghanistan in Midnight Traveler, he says, “I feel that our family’s experience is not unique to us and is an important part of human history and must be preserved and seen by all.”
Language Afghan, Persian
Director Hassan Fazili
Producer Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim
Editor Emelie Mahdavian
Cinematographer Fatima Hussaini, Hassan Fazili, Nargis Fazili, Zahra Fazili
Music Gretchen Jude