Baradar (Brother)

War. Does not only result in death and other horrors, but brings about many refugees or displaced people. People looking for a safe place to live. Not really asking for more than every person on this globe should have. Yet, many a person’s attitude towards refugees is less than warm. Many see refugees/migrants/immigrants as troublesome people looking for things for free or those who come into countries to take away jobs/opportunities from citizens. This story shows how war destroys families and puts those left behind in precarious situations.

Here we get a short film based on the real-life story of Ali Ehsani and his autobiography called Stanotte Guardiamo le Stelle. It has won 21 awards while screening at more than 50 different film festivals.

It has been three years since a bomb destroyed their home and killed their parents. Like many other Afghani young people, brothers Ali (Nawid Sharifi), who is 10-years-old, and his older brother Mohammed (Danosh Sharifi), who is 18-years-old, have been trying to make their own way in the world. Struggling to find somewhere safe they can live.

Now they find themselves, after travelling for years, close to Europe in Turkey when Mohammed decides to go on ahead without his brother claiming it would be safer if he goes ahead to check things out. He will get on a dinghy en route to Greece. He promises that once he gets to Greece he will make money then send for his brother.

Ali is not happy. He depends on his older brother and accuses him of going back on the assertion that they would never be separated. Another tragedy befalls the youngster as Mohammed perishes in the journey. Now Ali is truly alone. He now has to embark on a trip to Italy by himself.

The two portraying the brothers are brothers themselves who were not professional actors. They bring plenty to the roles as they themselves lived through war and being displaced as they too are Afghani.

My only complaint about the film is that it is too short. I wanted more of it to fleshed out. Show more of Ali’s travels alone. What it does do really well is convey the strength of the love/bond between the two brothers. How they subsist exclusively on hope. They exemplify it. That this is all that refugees or displaced people have. Hope to find a safe place to live and contribute.

I don’t know how anyone can see this film and not have their opinion of displaced people changed. How the richer countries of the world should welcome them with open arms. That they do not want to leave their countries; they want to stay there but cannot or it would mean sure death.

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