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Film review: "Impossible"


The centerpiece selection in the Dryden's "Here and Elsewhere" film series, "The Impossible" comes from French experimental filmmaker Sylvain George. Combining elements of political radicalism with formal experimentation, the film examines the current Calais migrant crisis, as refugees fleeing troubled areas like Darfur, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq attempt to cross the English Channel in the hopes of finding asylum in the United Kingdom. George utilizes a mix of mediums to create a tapestry of images that coalesce into a passionate but enigmatic portrait of a country in revolution. A mostly silent depiction of life in the makeshift refugee encampment known as the "Calais jungle" gives way in the film's second half to footage from student-led social protests in Paris, resulting in a contrast between those able to raise their voices with those whose voices have been willfully silenced. As the first 30 minutes of "The Impossible" are silent, Rochester-based electronic noise musician Martin Freeman will provide live accompaniment during the screening.