‘As Far as I Can Walk’ Review: A Search That Won’t End

Strahinya (Ibrahim Koma), a Ghanaian soccer player who sits in the cafeteria of a Serbian refugee camp and helps run the camp, tells two Syrian refugees that he and his wife Ababuo (Nancy Mensah-Ofei) are economic migrants. talk about being “Priority is given to those of you who come from war zones,” he says of the defection process. Actress Ababuo added further contempt for the Syrians in her bargain shortly afterward, although they ended up in Germany but were deported to Serbia two years ago and are now happy with their stay. I am slightly indignant at my husband’s claim.

This is a foreshadowing scene from Serbian director and co-writer Stefan Arsenijevic’s second film, As Far As You Can Walk. Soon, Ababuo disappears with a Syrian couple, and we follow Strahinya as she travels far and wide in search of her (the film is a loose adaptation of a Serbian medieval epic). be). But this exchange illustrates the kind of jarring ambivalence the film evokes about the characters’ relationship to the larger political context.

The film is remarkably well-crafted and underpinned by comics and Mensah-Offay’s moving performances, but in some ways it’s a fundamental human desire for the better and the heartbreak that often accompanies it. This is a wonderful piece of work about emotions. Still, while Arsenijevic thankfully doesn’t worship suffering or turn his characters into political props, the film unintentionally pits Strahinya and Abab’o’s brutal attitudes in the cafeteria against each other. Match. This Serbian fable about African migrants is set against the backdrop of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, which ultimately becomes just a dramatic backdrop.

For some, like Strahinya and Abavuo, who are trying to find their way to a better life, it’s just a political crisis. At the end of the film, Strahinya is sitting on the bus with a broken heart and will. We feel the same way about him. But when he looked out the window, he saw a scattered group of Syrian refugees trudging through the cold streets, faceless past.

as long as you can walk
Unrated. English and Serbian with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. at the theater.

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