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The Refugee Fix Is in with ‘The Flood’

“The Flood” pronounces its intentions lengthy earlier than star Lena Headey utters her first line.

The drama flashes statistics about individuals pushed out of their properties by “persecution, battle and violence.” It’s the type of element films sometimes add on the finish for a contextual coda.

It’s hardly “The Flood’s” solely clue concerning the topic in play — the European refugee disaster.

And that’s a disgrace as a result of “The Flood” boasts two potent efficiency and the type of smaller particulars that make a narrative pop. Instead, they’re the dramatic exceptions to the in-your-face guidelines.

Headey stars as Wendy, an immigration official at a U.Ok. processing middle. She’s requested to interrogate Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah), a person who traveled hundreds of miles to achieve British shores. His story is informed largely in flashback, as Wendy scribbles notes, swigs from her water bottle and shares little emotion about his plight.

The movie turns her stack of papers into a personality unto itself. We hear the pages flipping and her pen clicking, a numbing procession that avoids the human issue.

A soul’s future is at stake.

Wendy can’t concentrate on Haile’s plight alone, although. She’s frantic concerning the draconian divorce course of that separated her from her daughter. Still, she listens as he shares his harrowing story. She assumes, from expertise, that he’s mendacity by way of his enamel.

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It’s what refugees do, she’s realized. Or, on the very least, it’s what she’s been taught to suppose.

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Films can carry a definite viewpoint with out sacrificing integrity or leisure worth. “The Flood” goes a number of steps too far, rendering advanced themes with broad, hurried strokes.

  • Why does England restrict the variety of refugees getting into the nation?
  • Are there safety dangers in play?
  • What are the authorized strategies for in search of asylum?
  • Do refugees place an undue pressure on obtainable assets?
  • Can different neighboring nations settle for them?

One film can’t deal with all the above. To achieve this would sluggish the narrative to a crawl. Still, “The Flood” ignores these questions, letting its pro-refugee mien overwhelm the story.

Haile isn’t simply any outdated refugee. He’s sensible, humble and sort. Jeremiah renders him courageous when obligatory, prepared to sacrifice himself for others if the necessity arises. He’s saintly, which makes him an inauthentic image of the refugee story regardless of the actor’s appreciable abilities.

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Screenwriter Helen Kingston shrewdly humanizes the immigration officers, to a degree. Wendy’s supervisor (Iain Glen) could also be chilly, however he exhibits real compassion for her private struggles. Still, their calloused natures as a circulation of strangers enter their cubicles stays the main focus.

“The Flood” relies on “true tales,” which gave Kingston sufficient wiggle room to make each component of the movie extra dramatic than obligatory. It’s not sufficient that Haile’s trek is fraught with peril. She injects obstacles that might really feel proper at dwelling in a ’70s cleaning soap opera.

Kingston’s private assertion, equipped within the press notes, provides a peek into her inventive course of.

The debate about immigration rages on this nation and all world wide. In current years the right-wing media dehumanizes these males, ladies and youngsters with the phrase “the flood of immigrants.” The left-wing media give counter-arguments however echo the rhetoric, “the so-called flood of immigrants.” I believe it crucial to deliver audiences a private and compelling story behind the headlines, behind ‘the flood.’

Op-eds and have movies stay two distinct codecs.

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“The Flood” spends an excessive amount of time retelling components of Haile’s journey, some which are obviously clear primarily based on the movie’s framing gadget. Far worse is a dangling query a few violent conflict between Haile and native legislation enforcement. It’s right here the place depicting him as preternaturally sort saps any shock from the reveal.

A subplot involving Pakistani refugees begins with promise however change into one more narrative groaner.

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Director Anthony Woodley fares higher by capturing the indignities of the refugee expertise. The sight of Haile’s footwear, barely held collectively and sporting seen gaps, tells greater than total reams of dialogue. So does Haile’s confession that nobody has requested to listen to his identify in ages.

Heart breaking.

“The Flood” engages our feelings, little doubt. It additionally stacks the dramatic deck in ways in which diminish each the story in query and the bigger, consequential debate.

HiT or Miss: “The Flood” needs us to care concerning the refugee plight, a humanistic spirit that drags down the movie’s higher components.

The submit The Refugee Fix Is in with ‘The Flood’ appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

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