In This World review

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A valuable riposte to the current tabloid panic about refugees `flooding' into Britain, In This World is an absorbing record of the perilous journey undertaken by two young Pashtun Afghani migrants, Jamal (Jamal Udin Torabi) and Enayat (Enayatullah).

Unsuspecting viewers would be forgiven for thinking that director Michael Winterbottom, fresh from his vibrant post-modern comedy 24 Hour Party People, has elected to make a documentary this time around. But don't be fooled by his use of digital video and non-professional actors - - this is actually a fictional reconstruction based on first-hand accounts.

A powerful, raw work, In This World successfully communicates the boredom inflicted by endless delays and waiting about in cheap hotel rooms, as well as capturing its characters' suspicions about the chain of `fixers' to whom they entrust their money. It also highlights their fear of being discovered and turned back. In particular, Winterbottom's reconstruction of the duo's sea crossing is potent, seeing Jamal and Enayat locked in an airless freight container for 40 hours. Horrifying.

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