Midnight Traveler

Fateful developments and surprising twists in the lives of their protagonists are welcome ingredients for documentary filmmakers. But when the director and his family are themselves the protagonists in their own film, every threatening situation becomes a conflict of conscience. Is it right to film every dramatic moment or is it morally wrong to think about a good film scene in the midst of misfortune?
In 2015, a death threat from the Taliban saw Afghan director Hassan Fazili and his wife Fatima Hussaini, also a filmmaker, in exactly this situation. Together with their two daughters Nargis (11) and Zahra (6), they flee from their homeland to distant Europe in search of safety. The couple, and their two daughters, use their mobile phones to film their journey, which was to last several years. On the Balkan route, during long and uncertain stays in various refugee camps, they draw strength from documenting their difficult situation. Despite adversities and setbacks, the parents never once lose their humanity. They bear all manner of hardships and hope for a better future for their daughters, who become more and more independent as the long journey progresses.
by Hassan Fazili
with Nargis Fazili, Zahra Fazili, Fatima Hussaini, Hassan Fazili
USA / United Kingdom / Qatar / Canada 2019 Persian, English 87’ Colour Documentary form | A film by Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian


  • Nargis Fazili
  • Zahra Fazili
  • Fatima Hussaini
  • Hassan Fazili


Director Hassan Fazili
Screenplay Emelie Mahdavian
Cinematography Fatima Hussaini, Hassan Fazili, Nargis Fazili, Zahra Fazili
Editing Emelie Mahdavian
Music Gretchen Jude
Sound Design Daniel Timmons
Sound Mixing Daniel Timmons, Tony Volante
Producers Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim
Co-Production Fatima Hussaini, Ahmad Imami

World sales

Produced by

Old Chilly Pictures

Hassan Fazili

As a director, he has created theatre productions, documentaries, short films and TV series in Afghanistan. His short films and Life Again! focus on the rights of women, children and people with disabilities in Afghanistan and have screened at international festivals. He was location manager on Feo Aladag’s Inbetween Worlds which screened in Competition at the 2014 Berlinale. His TV documentary Peace in Afghanistan portrays the Taliban commander Mullah Tur Jan, who laid down his arms in favour of a peaceful life as a civilian.


2009 Life Again!; short film 2011 Mr. Fazili’s Wife; short film 2014 The House; short film · Peace in Afghanistan; short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019