First Look Media

Field of Vision and The New Yorker Present "The Journey"

May 31, 2016

Co-creators Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook are proud to launch the next film in Field of Vision, "The Journey," a six-part series directed by Matthew Cassel. The multi-part documentary follows the treacherous, seventeen-hundred-mile migration of a Syrian refugee who fled the perils of wartime Damascus to build a better life for his family. The web series, published by The New Yorker on their website as part of a collaboration with Field of Vision, the visual journalism unit of First Look Media.

More than a million people whose lives have been upended by desperation and violence in Syria have made similar journeys, but most of these treks take place in obscurity. Aboud Shalhoub was joined by the filmmaker Matthew Cassel, who documented—and participated in—the perilous migration in 2015. Cassel’s colleague Simon Safieh stayed in Damascus with Aboud’s wife, Christine, and his two children. The series captures Aboud’s long trip to the Netherlands, the family’s attempts to reunite, and the tide of nationalist sentiment sweeping across northern Europe.

Watch episodes of Journey here

About Matthew Cassel:

Matthew Cassel is an independent multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He spent five years covering the Arab world with the Al Jazeera network. His 2013 award-winning film for AJE, "Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle with Zionism," focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic and has spent much of the past two years focusing on the plight of refugees seeking asylum in the EU.

First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices across all platforms, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look operates as both a studio and digital media company.

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