Directed by Mira Jargil, Reunited follows the harrowing journey of a family who wind up separated on three continents as they attempt to flee the war in Syria. As the husband (Mukhles) reaches Canada, his wife (Rana) flees to Denmark in the hopes of bringing their two sons (elder brother Nidal and young Jad) along with her. As time moves on, Rana and Mukhles face the stark realities of navigating the complexities of the immigration system and starting new lives. Relying solely on screens to communicate with one another, their relationships begin to fray as the parents adjust to different cultural circumstances and the children try to keep up at school while looking after themselves.
Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, Reunited pulls the curtain back on the trials of those seeking refugee status as they attempt to immigrate to safer circumstances. Working feverishly to negotiate through the endless abyss of red tape, the most difficult challenge for their family may be the way in which each individual deals with their situation emotionally. Despite the infinite number of obstacles in her way, Rana clings to the faint hope that she can be with her boys again. Mukhles refuses to look at new pictures of the boys, clinging to a past that has long since gone. Meanwhile, Nidal and Jad are forced to live simple and solitary existence as children who must also be adults. As a result of the division, the family unit becomes strained, adding a bittersweet taste to the idea of reunification as the idea becomes both life-giving and terrifying at the same time.
By emphasizing the family tension amidst the legal issues, Reunited is a unique portrait of the immigrant experience. Rather than simply opting to show how things happen, the real revelation stems from how that transition can bring hurt (and joy) to the relationships within the family itself as they attempt to start new lives together.
Reunited premieres at the HotDocs Festival online on May 28th, 2020.
- Release Date: 5/28/2020