HomeDIY Craft‘Fremont’ Review: Rapid Transit - The New York Times

‘Fremont’ Review: Rapid Transit – The New York Times

The title “Fremont” is derived from the Bay Area city of the same name. It is often called Little Kabul Home to one of the largest concentration of Afghans in the United States, many immigrants are drawn to it for its sense of community. That’s what Donya (Anaita Wali Zada) is looking for: community. connection. Love. These are tough tasks for anyone in these nuclear times, but especially so for Donya, a young refugee and former translator for the US military.

Living in Fremont, among other Afghans, is not a great comfort to Donya. Perhaps because her memories of home are not comforting – in fact, they fill her with dread and guilt. The details of what she left behind are not the focus here. It is enough to know that they keep him awake at night; She prefers the slightly numbing, Zen-like routine of her not-so-glamorous job at a fortune-cookie factory in San Francisco.

British Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali imbues Donna’s existential plight with the dry, contemplative mood of a film by Jim Jarmusch or Aki Kaurismaki, both masters of melancholy deadpan drama. Shooting in milky black-and-white clothing, Jalali sets Donya in a world of outcasts and loners—people disaffected and tired, yet capable of compassion and change. Salim (Siddique Ahmed), an insomniac who lives in Donna’s apartment complex, gives her a spot with a psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony (Greg Turkington), who sees her for free.

An appointment isn’t like a movie ticket you can just hand over to a friend, explains Dr. Anthony, fussing over protocol. Donya convinces him to move in with her anyway, and begins a series of frequent (if not exactly helpful) consultations. After Donna is promoted to fortune teller at the factory, her boss’s vengeful wife (JENNIFER MACKEY) discovers that Donna has written her phone number on a piece of paper in a cookie. She calls for Donya to be sacked. Her husband (Eddie Tang) sees it differently: If anything, Donya’s attempt to reach another lost soul makes her exactly the kind of person who should be inventing dreamy sayings.

Jalali and his co-author, Carolina Cavalli, point to the ways in which bureaucratic rigidity and crony capitalism can paralyze us. They avoid narrowing the film down to a story about social injustices, while deftly avoiding overly snarky tones and messages about our shared humanity, or whatever. The expressionistic interrelationships—the matching shadows on the stairwell wall, the wobbly spinning globe—reflect the peculiar nature of the social relations between the displaced and the disoriented.

Jalali complements this mournful mood with Mahmud Shriker’s jazzy score, which, driven by sitars and low-pitched horns, seems to cut through the dead air of Donya’s emotionless encounters. If the humor in these moments doesn’t always click, it’s because Jalali’s drawn-out scenes of two people talking face-to-face only have so much awkward laugh benefit.

a first time actor who fled Afghanistan in 2021, Wali Zada ​​emits a natural warmth and poignancy as she recites deliberately blank lines. It flattens some of the wierd scenes, but Donya’s measured expression of longing and hope makes it sing. She’s the one who does the final thing – featuring a lonely mechanic played by Jeremy Allen White (K) “Bear”) – very touching and romantic. Jalali maintains a mysterious ambiguity, but Wali Zada ​​explains what matters: Donya has gotten where she wants to be.

not evaluated. Running Time: 1 hour 31 minutes. in Theaters.


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