three young Afghan men sit around a table next to a food stall, smiling and talking, on a cold winter nightalr

The Most Beautiful Country in the World
(Das schönste Land der Welt)

Directed by Zelimir Zilnik.
Slovenia/Croatia/Austria/Serbia, 2018, digital video, color, 101 min.
German, Pashtu, English, Arabic and Serbian with English subtitles.
Copy source: sixpackfilm

The director’s latest two projects—Logbook Serbistan (2015) and The Most Beautiful Country in the World (2018)—take place on the Balkan refugee route and in Austrian undocumented communities respectively, each charting a particular phase in the itinerary of migrants from North Africa and Asia. While Logbook chronicles asylum seekers as they enter and exit Serbia, The Most Beautiful Country indicates that agonies are far from over when reaching EU safe zones. “In that respect,” as Natasa Kovacevic writes, “it comes across as a follow-up to Logbook … As usual, Zilnik avoids sentimentality and pathos in favor of following his protagonists as they engage in quotidian activities: renting an apartment, learning German, singing, practicing judo and visiting a Christmas market.” It is imperative to mention that the titular “most beautiful country” is misleading: Afghanistan, not Austria, is the area in question according to protagonists Bagher and Haidar.

Part of film series

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