Thursday, November 9, 2023

THE WALK (2023) DOC NYC 2023

One part fantasia, one part documentary THE WALK is the story of a giant puppet named Amal who walked from Syria into Europe. He journey was made in order to bring attention to the plight of the countless refugees fleeing war and destruction. It’s a journey that Ama had repeated in other parts of the world as part of a program to educate as many people about what it’s like to be a refugee.

This film has haunted me since I saw it.  While I have been intrigued with Amal since I learned of her journey across Europe (and later New York), seeing this film record of the trip just made it more real. Such is the power of the movies. I have not stopped thinking about the film in the entire week between when I saw the film and when I sat down to write the film up. The images, the story and the blending of narrative and documentary have been pinging around in my brain.

What makes the film work is the same thing that makes the Muppets work, which is that the skill with which Asil is brought to life is so good we stop thinking of it as a puppet and see her as a 12 foot tall little girl. This is the reason that when one of the Muppets shows up, we remember the Muppet and not the person.

This is a film that needs to be seen. In a time of migrant troubles, a film like THE WALK is needed in order to make people understand, really understand what being a migrant means. I say this because frankly some times we need fictions, or 12 foot tall young girls to get people to act.

See THE WALK it will haunt you in the best possible way.

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