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Hot Docs 2020: “Reunited” ★★★★


Not many understand the pain of separation. I say that not because of the piece I am about to write but because, more or less, I have gone through the same what the heroes of “Reunited” went through. Can the camera capture the loneliness of the soul and the emptiness of the heart caused by some meaningless surroundings that cannot replace family?

“Reunited”, from director Mira Jagil, follows the life of a Syrian refugee family who desperately flees their homeland. The mother ends up in Denmark and the father finds refuge in Canada while their two sons are in Turkey, learning to live without their parents. The whole family will go through the most complicated immigration process, do what they can to meet the qualification so that one day they can reunite with each other.

“Reunited” is a moving story that captures the most intimate moments of a family that, through the digital age, tries to remain connected with each other. Nora is a very brave woman who does everything possible to prove she is worthy of permanent residency in Denmark. As she goes through the painful immigration process, the woman learns to bury her frustration somewhere deep down and replaces it with bravery, determination, and hard work so that one day she can go to an airport, not to get deported, but to meet her most loved people on earth.

That said, “Reunited” could have been a great feature movie, however, being a documentary does not make it any less significant. It is an important story for us to know and understand how bureaucracy works and how long it takes to sap the last bit of energy from humans in order to completely destroy them with no chance to repair.

Indeed, a camera cannot capture the insides like an x-ray nor like ultrasound. But what a camera can do is to provide its own examination of events for us to see, understand, and even feel it if necessary, which is what “The Reunited” succeeds in achieving.

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