69 Minutes of 86 Days

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In a recent statement echoed by United Nations officials, Amnesty International has called the Syrian refugee crisis the worst humanitarian disaster of our lifetime. Fittingly, as the Syrian Civil War has escalated since 2011, one of the most prominent themes of human rights film festivals around the world has been that of displaced citizens seeking asylum or other forms of humanitarian assistance. Norwegian documentarian Egil Haaskjold Larsen’s latest production, 69 Minutes of 86 Days, thus joins a long list of films that seek to enhance our understanding of the sheer magnitude and global impact of the refugee crisis. But, unlike so many of its precursors, this visually arresting, hauntingly scored tone poem dispenses with the kind of expositional information (e.g., onscreen text, voiceover narration) that lards other motion pictures, and instead emphasizes motion itself — the nearly wordless movement of one particular family (including a charismatic three-year-girl named Lean Kanjo) as they journey by land and sea, through countless border checks over a three-month period, toward their destination in Uppsala, Sweden. Watching 69 Minutes of 86 Days, especially as it builds toward its emotionally stirring conclusion, audiences experience the unshakeable, empathy-building sensation of having “lived” with a group of people accustomed to the physical strain of immigration and for whom open arms are the most welcoming sight imaginable.


Egil Haaskjold Larsen
70 minutes


Lory Student Center Theatre
Saturday April 14th, 2018
3:30 p.m. start time

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