The title refers to the wording of the UN Convention on Refugees, detailing the degree of threatened persecution which establishes a person as a political refugee. There are 16 million claimed refugees in the world; one in 200 applicants for refugee status are actually admitted into the US. This documentary follows a number of such stories through the chambers of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, recording their interviews and the thoughts and feelings of their interrogators. The nuances of story and character upon which the applicants' hopes turn are brought out in cogent detail. A shame, then, that the initially effective two by two case study structure is drastically overused.
Shari Robertson, Michael Camerini