Evan: A Survivor’s Story

Directed by Rafiqfuad Yarahmadi  |  Review by Aindrila Chatterjee

The story revolves around a video journalist from Kurdistan, Middle East named Evan who is forced to remain aloof from his family. The writer and director of the film, Rafiqfuad Yarahmadi, has a great similarity with Evan as he is also a journalist and filmmaker from Kurdistan. Both face the same problems due to the ISIS attack and are forced to leave their homeland for the lifetime. Rafiqfuad is expelled from his University in 2000 because he is a Kurdish, belongs to Sunni community and had a communist name ‘Rafiqfuad’. Being a video journalist, Evan films many incidents of the ISIS army. At one point, he films dead bodies, which lands him in serious trouble. Rafiqfuad with his wife, who is also a Kurdish journalist, worked for the Kurdish people’s rights to stop the rise of the Islamic state. But, the Iranian Government began an insidious campaign against them. As a result, they had to flee to Iran. Later in UK he remains in disguise as a refugee, a filmmaker and an interpretor.

Kirukuk’s wealth lay in its oil fields which produce over 1million barrels of oil per day. So, easily it became the target for the ISIS attack. Since 2014 they started terrorizing citizens creating secret prison cells within the city. There are many refugees like Evan and Rafiqfuad who had to leave their family to save their own life. Many had to live their life in asylums accepting the fact they might never get a chance to see their family members. This creates an enormous burden of sadness and grief with happiness becoming a fairy tale. At the end of the story, Rafiqfuad reveals Evan’s destiny where he either had to live the life like other refugees, or use a chance to meet his parents, wife and his little young daughter. The biggest problem Evan encounters is to convince the treacherous ISIS army through his solicitor that he is just a normal man and not their enemy. All of that just to see his loved ones, something that many of us take for granted.

Rafiqfuad is a freelance filmmaker. This film has been shot in both motion and hand-held camera i.e. video camera, creating a dynamic experience for the viewer. By mixing the two techniques, the film manages to further portray the dreadful feeling and making it an even more interesting watch. His previous works are “A Girl Made From Light”, “Jiyan Means Life”, ‘Solace and Life on Water”. The storytelling process is very crisp and straightforward with a pinch of reality to sink your teeth in. The concept works exceedingly well and the film manages to strike every point it plans to. This movie is basically a biography type where the life history of a journalist is shown within 19 minutes, making it entertaining, but even more importantly, something to think about long after the film is over. The feeling of the narrator is clearly shown in the film giving a touch of warmth. The narrator is someone to whom the viewers can relate and feel they are observing the journey together.

Overall, Evan: A Survivor’s Story is an amazing and touching film that at the same times manages to show the horrors of humanity, but also the beauty – giving us the complete picture.

 

“Glamour is not for us, it’s for others”. Hearing that Aindrila came into the world of media. Her struggle started from her college days. She loves to communicate with people. Adventure is her first love. Worked in many Bengali media houses like Aajkaal, SNews during and after her university days. She loves literature, drama, cinema, football, and cooking. She loves to learn new things daily. According to her, communication and books make a person more knowledgeable.