Finding Ali. A documentary by Jamie Henshall
Classification: Mature (M)
August 19th, 2018
TNM Creative Media
Director: Jamie Henshall
Director of Photography: Connor Langford
Assistant Director: Antony Loomans
"Finding Ali" is a heartwarming, truthful documentary which highlights the life and journey of Jamie Henshall.
This story documents the search for his estranged Bengali father in a county of 168 million. It touches on the effects of abandonment, single parent families and the struggles they face, together with the consequences of domestic abuse. What will Jamie find if and when he meets his father after 33 years of separation?
Will he get the answers he is looking for?
As a child, Jamie yearned for answers about who he was, his heritage and why his father did the things he did. The truth can hurt and can often be heartbreaking, what if his search takes him to a dead end. Is it worth the risk?
Bangladesh is home to 168 million people. Jamie begins the search for his father in Dhaka with nothing but a photograph, birth certificate and marriage certificate. The chaos, smells and obvious poverty are clear signs of the stark differences between eastern and western living. The Bangladeshi community welcome Jamie and offer nothing but love and support as he takes the streets walking 14km per day to hand out over 8000 flyers.
He grew up in Manchester UK with his brother Jason raised by their mother, Ann Henshall. The desire to find his father and ask questions became apparent once Jamie found out his wife was expecting their first child.
Jamie's journey in Bangladesh takes him to the villages up the Begangi river, one particular village called silence island. Here they get to witness the layers of the Bangladeshi culture and see how hard people work for survival.
There is still no sign of Jamie's father, Suab Ali.
A large news organisation gets wind of the story from Jamie's AirB&B host Suman Roy. They want to interview him about why he is here and share it with the nation. This eventually results in contact from Jamie's uncle after seeing the news report. It seems there is family living on the outskirts of Dhaka in a village called Khash Goan, 20 miles from Sylhet.
After a 12 hour journey by car we finally see Jamie meet his long-lost aunties and uncle.
Paperwork and documents are shared as proof they are related, with the news that Suab Ali ( Jamie's father ) is now residing in the UK. The search continues as Jamie books a flight to Manchester UK where it all began.