Directed by Ai Wei Wei
8th – 14th December 2017
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
One of the most potent images of Human Flow comes at the very end of this heart wrenching documentary, when it focuses on thousands of orange life jackets left on the shoreline of the Greek island of Lesbos by migrants arriving from Africa and elsewhere. As the camera, attached to a drone, rides higher above the abandoned jackets they take on a surreal appearance of countries and continents as if seen from outer space.
in the penultimate scene of the film the former Syrian astronaut Mohammad Fares describes seeing the earth from space. He remarked that “sadly there are evil people on earth. Let’s send them all into space.”
A problem with this solution though is that you would need a multitude of rockets and spaceships to house them!!
In another awe-inspiring shot you see what looks to be a swarm of insects congregated on plastic fencing which apparently begins to melt, but it becomes slowly evident that the actual view nearer the landscape of the earth are hundreds of migrants massed together.
Remarkably director Ai Wei Wei, an exiled Chinese artist, used over 200 crew members and 12 cinematographers – a large amount of the cinematography was highly impressive – visiting 23 countries in the making of the film over a two year span.
One comment I agreed with was that “As a film, it does not feel like a piece of propaganda, but rather of a work of frank observations.”
Wei Wei commented that “The solution is in everyone of us. If we feel that one is connected to another then we have the solution. If we talk about geo-politics, legislating and technical problems, then we miss the point.”
Currently there are over 65 million people displaced throughout the world, and needless to say this figure will increase in the coming years. In parts of Africa, for example, the population is forecast to double over the next thirty years. This is unsustainable.
Wei Wei does not deliver any answers or political solutions to this catastrophic dilemma. Instead his is a perceptive view of the global migrant crisis.
I will leave the last comment to Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon’s Druze party. in referring to the plight of many millions of migrants and refugees he stated that never in history has there been such total uncertainty in the world.
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