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HUMAN FLOW

HUMAN FLOW

AI WEIWEI · Germany · 2017 · 140 mins · NOT RATED
IMDBMetaCriticRotten Tomatoes
Dec 13 7:00pm
Dec 14 7:00pm

“AN EPIC PORTRAIT OF MASS MIGRATION.” –IndieWire

There are moments in “Human Flow,” a bracing, often strangely beautiful movie by the artist Ai Weiwei, when it can be hard to see the individuals who make up the roiling, surging rivers onscreen. This difficulty in isolating specific people is crucial to the meaning of the documentary, which charts the global refugee and migrant crisis. Shot over the course of one year in 23 countries, the movie tracks the here and there of people whose relentless ebbing and flowing make startlingly visible what news headlines repeatedly suggest: that ours is an age of ceaseless churn with no calm in sight.

A Chinese dissident now living in Berlin, Mr. Ai is a major art-world figure. Although he occasionally shows up in “Human Flow,” in oblique glimpses, he plays an appropriately discreet role in his own documentary.

His ambition is as expansive as his reach and resources. (More than 200 crew members, including a half-dozen drone operators, were involved in this worldwide journey.) Mr. Ai wanders the globe, traveling to Africa (Kenya), Southeast Asia (Malaysia) and the Middle East (Israel, Jordan) as well as to North America and many ports of call throughout Europe.

“Human Flow” opens and closes with aquatically themed imagery, beginning with a shot of a deep, dazzlingly blue body of water. This pacific picture, though, is soon replaced by far more disturbing, recurrent images of perilously small boats filled with frantically shouting, gesturing men, women and children seeking asylum.

What Mr. Ai seeks is to go far beyond the nightly news; he wants to give you a sense of the scale of the crisis, its terrifying, world-swallowing immensity. And so he jumps from one heartbreak to the next, passes through Gaza, drops into Pakistan, spends time in Turkey and ambles along the border separating (somewhat) Mexico and the United States,

Every so often, he folds in an elegant or haunting quote, giving you something to think about as the camera shows a world in which, step by step, crisis by crisis, borders have become by turns absurd and immaterial.

--The New York Times

“AN EPIC TAPESTRY OF SOULS.”The Telegraph

A PROFOUNDLY HUMAN FILM, A HEARTFELT CALL TO EMPATHY. Screen International
SHOT IN 23 COUNTRIES, THE FILM HAS AN AMAZING BREADTH AND A RELENTLESS MORAL DRIVE. The Hollywood Reporter
Cast Israa Abboud, Hiba Abed, Rami Abu Sondos
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