Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"Asaad's performance is astonishing."

'A story inspired by true events', set (mostly) in the now vanished 'Jungle' refugee camp near Calais, Aamir is a powerful short film rooted in the key features of its opening scene - light, sound, trauma.

Vika Evodokimenko's film is haunting, built around a performance by Alan Asaad. Adolescent, displaced, separated from family. His tale is rooted in liminality, a semi-permenant statelessness that extends to accomodation without a door.

The camp receives volunteers, among them Kaitlyn (Jasmine Blackborow). The camp is not the end of the world, but it's on an edge between them.

Asaad's performance is astonishing, Blackborow's too - it's hard to say more without fear of negating the actorly effort they make. This is a film carried on weary shoulders, drawn looks, a burden borne brilliantly by young actors. Evodokimenko has covered complex topics before (her 2009 short Relative Madness was covered by Eye for Film when shown at the 2010 EIFF) but this fictionalisation stretches different talents. It feels documentary in its approach, but that's in part supported by the quality of the acts that it's observing, the structure of its setting, the structures of its setting.

I'm fond of the word "bleak", and Aamir deserves that label. Yet it's a stark, crisp bleakness; even amidst the damp and the smoke, there's a beauty to it. It's a powerful piece, one which received a BAFTA nod. In the 2018 nominations it shares subject matter with A Drowning Man and Mamoon, and also their quality.

Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2018
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A well meaning but thinly stretched British volunteer becomes the last hope for a young teenager alone in a refugee camp.

Director: Vika Evdokimenko

Writer: Vika Evdokimenko, Oliver Shuster

Starring: Alan Asaad, Jasmine Blackborow, Samia Rida, Ako Ali, Arian Rashid

Year: 2017

Runtime: 17 minutes

Country: UK, France, US


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