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103 Ratings

Human Flow

Directed by Ai Weiwei
Germany, United States, 2017


Filmed in 23 countries over the course of more than a year, Human Flow chronicles the staggering breadth of the global refugee crisis.

Human Flow Directed by Ai Weiwei
It’s designed to be experienced on a big screen. Ai uses staggering landscape shots and dynamic low-angle compositions to frame his subjects against great expanses of sky, and when he shoots people in close-up, he excludes almost anything that might distract from their faces or bodies, rendering them monumental.
November 02, 2017
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Make no mistake: there are graphic, shocking moments here, in particular a scene outside Mosul that is viscerally upsetting. And there are scenes of gentle humor and human connection too. But for the most part we never remain long enough with any one person to get more than a cursory idea of their story, and so over the course of the film’s 140 minute runtime, we end up with a sense of the crisis as a tragedy, yes, but a choral, abstract one.
October 26, 2017
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In a scene of startling beauty in Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow, a group of refugees huddles together, with light bouncing off golden insulation blankets handed out by workers to warm them up as they arrive off a boat in Europe. Ai’s work is often meant to provoke, but the shot isn’t meant to plunder suffering for art’s sake. It’s a moment of noticing, in a gorgeous-looking documentary that never spares us the ugly, unspeakable miseries of forced migration.
October 13, 2017
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