Review: MIDNIGHT TRAVELER Is A Touching Snapshot Of The Immigrant Crisis


Although it does have some imperfections, Midnight Traveler offers a compelling and subjective take on the immigrant crisis that is so important today.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Midnight Traveler, directed by Hassan Fazili, is a powerful new documentary that chronicles the refugee crisis from a firsthand perspective. A mostly gripping tale of humanity, the film does have a few sequences that drag, but for the most part, is a harrowing and important documentary.

The movie follows Fazili and his family as they flee Afghanistan after the Taliban puts a price on his head, forcing them to seek refuge in other countries. As one might expect, their journey is not easy, and the film does an excellent job of capturing the difficulties of being a refugee. Since most audiences who see this movie will not have had similar experiences themselves, this film can help bring to attention why this crisis is a legitimate crisis.

Because of the movie’s subjective lens, it is quite easy for the audience to form a connection with the subjects. Fazili is telling his own story about how he loves and cares for his family and wishes to protect them at all costs, and this is quite touching. Even though Fazili successfully creates a sense of urgency regarding his situation, he isn’t afraid to step back and show his kids being kids, allowing the film to highlight the humanity of the story.

Every time Fazili and his family face an obstacle, the audience will be left heartbroken. Of course, since the movie is so subjective, the audience likely isn’t being given all of the information in the story. However, the way in which Fazili presents his story is extremely effective and feels very honest, making one willing to overlook the film’s lack of political insight in favor of its emotional core.

midnight traveler filming

The movie’s main message is about treating others with compassion, and there likely couldn’t have been a better way to express this. By telling the audience his personal story, Fazili gives the public a firsthand account of what is happening behind-the-curtain of these countries that are so often shrouded in mystery. Fazili is able to debunk the preconceived notions that many Americans hold about Middle Eastern countries and their residents, which will only help international relations.

The only real issue with the film is that it is perhaps a tad too long. Although most will get emotionally invested in the story, and that will allow the movie to be forgiven for some of its flaws, there are a few sequences that feel repetitive. Granted, this does show the cyclical nature of the refugee crisis, but these scenes are shown one too many times.

On a technical level, the film is definitely very impressive. Because of the nature of the story, Fazili had to shoot the movie guerilla-style, as a complex shoot could have resulted in the capture of him and his family. With this, the film is shot completely on mobile phones, and the cinematography is very impressive for a movie shot in this way. Knowing the context, the execution adds to this heightened sense of urgency that is so important to the film.

Although Midnight Traveler isn’t perfect, it is a solidly-made and touching snapshot of the refugee crisis. The amount of relevance this documentary has to modern world events makes it deserving of your time.

Midnight Traveler opens in theaters on September 18.


Origin of The Irishman: How Martin Scorsese Brought the Epic Story To the Screen | Netflix

Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and "I Heard You Paint Houses" author Charles Brandt discuss the origin story behind THE IRISHMAN and how Frank Sheeran's story made it to the screen. Watch The Irishman, in theaters and on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158…

Homeland Season 8 (2019) Official Trailer | Claire Danes SHOWTIME Series

Question everything. The final season of Homeland premieres on Sunday, February 9 at 9/8c. #Homeland Subscribe to the Homeland YouTube channel: Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: Get More Homeland: Follow: Like: Shop: Website: The final season of HOMELAND finds Carrie Mathison (Danes) recovering from months of brutal confinement in…

Behind The Scenes of Original Song “Letter To My Godfather” | THE BLACK GODFATHER | Netflix

Pharrell Williams and Nicole Avant (producer, The Black Godfather) discuss the making of original song "Letter To My Godfather," which Williams performs and co-wrote with Chad Hugo. "Letter To My Godfather" can be seen in the Netflix Original Documentary The Black Godfather. Watch The Black Godfather, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix…

The Expanse – Blue Origin Cast Visit | Prime Video

Witness the intersection of hard science and science fiction and how one inspires the other. The cast of The Expanse sits down with brilliant minds from Blue Origin to discuss life beyond our planet. » The Expanse returns 12/13. Watch the current season with Prime: » SUBSCRIBE: About The Expanse: The disappearance of…

Nancy Drew | Season 1 Episode 9 | The Hidden Staircase Promo | The CW

Watch new episodes on Wednesdays and stream Nancy Drew from the beginning, free only on The CW app: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death…

AXIOS on HBO: Joe Biden (Season 2 Special Promo) | HBO

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden sits down with AXIOS co-founder Mike Allen to discuss the state of the Democratic Party.  AXIOS on HBO returns for a special episode this Sunday at 6:30 PM on HBO. #HBO #HBODocs #AXIOSonHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Known for delivering news, coverage, and insight with a distinctive…

McMillions (2019): Official Teaser | HBO

MCMILLIONS - This documentary series chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S. The series draws on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here