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The film Aisha is a tragic soul-wounding movie that will leave you dehumanized, worried for her life and anxious with the current plight of immigrants. Letitia Wright, however, shines through as she brings to light the unforgiving panic of living in an undefined tomorrow. With this, the film tends to paint those opposed to immigration as cold and heartless. Yet one cannot deny the distressing reasons why people escape from their homes.

Aisha (Wright) claps and smiles before a refugee centre’s dance group is brutally broken up by its security guards. Manning (Stuart Graham), a despicable head of the center criticizes them for not booking their place properly. The same treatment that was given to Aisha after asking for her mail at front desk. Despite his knowledge about her identity, the guard asks for Aisha’s identification card. During this harsh exchange, Conor who is tall but timid (Josh O’Connor), an ex-prisoner seeking a security job witnesses it all.

This causes her to miss her bus. Her boss at the beauty salon isn’t happy she’s late.A reminder is given to Aisha that she is fortunate enough to have obtained work permit status.Moraya tells her mother over the phone that she’s nervous about going to asylum interview.Aisha has waited two long years to state her case.Moraya advises Aisha on saying what happened.” She can’t hide it from them; they are just like her.”

The following morning Conor sees Aisha again at bus stop.They both know how deeply they are hurt inside each other.Conor observes later in the day when Manning denies her use of a microwave oven.She doesn’t think he serves Muslims meat certified halal by any means.Deciding he’ll let her in there at night instead, Conor breaks rules.She appreciates his kindness but there’s no way she could explain why she left Nigeria.The next day comes with an alarming notice.Aisha is to be moved by Manning for insubordination.

The movie exhibits Aisha’s long and arduous journey through Irish asylum process in a very realistic manner.There can still no grounds for special pleadings within her case, although it recognizes that threats exist in Nigeria.To the system, she is just another immigrant applicant jumping through hoops for a sliver’s chance to stay. Frank Berry (I Used to Live Here, Michael Inside) avoids playing up the red-tape.Writer-director of the film Frank Berry was able to avoid melodrama.The officials interviewing Aisha are not without sympathy or awareness of how dire her situation is.As such, they have to follow Irish law and make judgement.

Aisha has not been restored enough to robotically recount her terrifying ordeal. The crime being vague as well as personal works against her.Needless to say these scenes are absolutely savage in their heartlessness. Her credibility means that she must conduct herself appropriately in such situations.In this hopelessness on public display, she is victimized again as she seeks an escape from horror.Wright tries with all her might not break down and maintain some dignity throughout all this.Aisha’s dignity always hangs by a thread.Rivers of tears will flow once again at news of further tragedy.

Berry uses long tracking shots to maintain Aisha as the central focus in his film. He aims to make sure that the viewer remains conscious of her movements in space. This is a disquieting technique, which however, effectively demonstrates her sense of alienation. Aisha is like a leaf blown on the winds of fate. She has no power to shape any decision at all. Understandably, this becomes most annoying when there is nothing one can do about it but walk away from such abusive treatment. What can she do or say to stop harassment? Aisha’s angst, fears and frustrations are bottled up until they reach a tipping point where they burst out painfully. You can press someone until they fall over and doggedly get back up again; however, it would take every ounce of courage you have.

Aisha will not allow herself to be fragile even though she yearns for warmth and tenderness. Conor cannot help getting attracted by her sweetness. His reasons originate from understanding what it means to be lost genuinely speaking. They are two peas in a pod who attract each other irresistibly. Gradually, as Aisha gathers courage to tell her own story, some details about him emerge too. So much was left unsaid between them both after all these years.. The two bond more strongly since trust is rebuilt by each character once more.Josh O’Connor gave an incredibly sympathetic performance in a soft supporting role.

A knotty query arises that cuts across the heart of the divisive immigration debate.Should Ireland or any country for that matter expend valuable resources on those who arrive illegally? Is there enough morality involved when caring about refugees while native citizens could also gain from such an assistance? Berry thinks duty is sacrosanct and portrays dissenters negatively.This is a point where the movie lacks fairness somewhat.Therefore differing opinions don’t necessarily mean uncontrolled xenophobia nor bigotry.

The finale for Aisha is stark and candid.Berry commends both sides of the spectrum. Some might feel let down but Aisha’s tale isn’t that simple. There are refugees stuck in a gray area who dream about a better place, however they must keep on living in any case.

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