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  • This film tells the story of an Afghan journalist, who is granted political asylum in the United States of America. He settles in a small town, living with the local policewoman. As he begins his new life and start to forge connections with others, he finds himself unknowingly in much danger.

    The film has nice cinematography and lighting, but unfortunately that is about it. The story is rather poorly told, as things are not clearly explained. The relationship between Osman and the policewoman is quite confusing, as I clearly heard Osman calling the policewoman "mum" on two occasions. It is also hard to understand why Osman acted so irresponsibly, walking into danger when it is very apparent that some people are not to be messed with. Osman's persistent belief of Lindsay needing him is beyond me either, as Lindsay made no such statement, and there is no evidence to make Osman believe in that. The final scenes that happen in a weird commune is very confusing, and makes little sense. I do not understand the story at all.
  • A little confusing trying to see this movie as two titles were used. the movie opening title is Burn Country, but some theaters referred to it as the Fixer. Must have been an old title

    Under either title , it is a wild and fascinating film, about Osman who is a fixer. Back in Afghanistan he was a journalist who specialized in being Foreign journalist connection to the people, but he was exiled and with the help of a friend, ended up in a small town in Northern California that doesn't meet his expectations of America, but he tries to make the best of it by doing his best in a crappy job at the local newspaper as a police blogger (basically making police reports sound interesting to the public).

    He's a foreign man on American soil, but in a place and culture that not a lot of American's see on the daily.

    Burn Country starts out with a simple narrative of Osman trying to make good by doing what he does best, journalism, and he decides to take the only job he can get as a journalist and take it far too seriously.

    Melissa Leo, an amazing Thespian who changes her look like she was Daniel Day Lewis to do the part, plays Osman's sponsor in the states, a police sheriff who is the mother of a fellow journalist still over in Afghanistan. She has a very motherly relationship, somewhat trading in one son for another.

    James Franco was actually very impressive. I've seen him do small movies like this in which he just does a cameo to sell movie tickets I guess, but he does have a critical role in this beyond that. Nothing fancy, he's not doing anything that you have not seen him do in a Seth Rogen film, but you see this method really works as a supporting actor for Dominic Rains' leading man.

    A very good leading man too. Very likable and charismatic. He gets you into the character's story, which is good cause it's basically just watching this guy adjust to a culture not his own.

    And Burn Country picked the best setting. It was different enough to me that I was a bit of a fish out of water trying to understand how these people live.

    Burn Country starts out as a very clear narrative and then gets a little sir real as Osman experiences the culture clash. Very good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    At first glance Burn Country is quite a simple story, I think drawing comparisons between cultures and showing how expectations of others can be wildly off the mark. However the events which at first seem to be random or at best disconnected, begin to take on a meaning, which for me was drawing comparisons between Afghanistan and it's history and global human nature which is deeply touted in ancient tribal reasoning. Corruption is everywhere, violence is everywhere, tribal management of small social groups is everywhere, but we all do the same thing in our own ways. At the end Osman finds solace in listening to his homeland and feeling connected to his roots, and yet the things he tried to escape were right there with him still in the US, in the way of the US, but following the patterns as his homeland and probably of all countries. The title make absolutely no sense to me at all, but the story is one of tribal living, an almost 'beyond modern rules and law' existence that works simply because it has to. It takes the length of the film for Osman to realise this and while he cannot ever go home, he can immerse himself in the new home in the knowledge that the ways will soon become familiar to him and he leads the same life in a different place.
  • Prismark1026 November 2017
    Ian Olds made the documentary Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. It showed the working relationship between journalist Christian Parenti and his Afghan colleague Ajmal Naqshbandi during the Afghan War. Naqshbandi was killed by the Taliban.

    In this feature film, Osman (Dominic Rains) is a fixer/interpreter to an American journalist now living in rural northern California having been granted asylum status.

    Osman lives with the mother of his American journalist friend who obviously loves the thrill of being a war reporter. His mom Gloria (Melissa Leo) is a cop and Osman is very much a surrogate son to her.

    Osman needs to fit in, he gets a low paid job as a crime reporter and is very much a fish out of water as he encounters the low life in the town, not far from being hillbillies. One of them is Lindsay (James Franco) who when sober can construct the best hot tubs but disappears and might have killed someone.

    Osman also meets some hippy types who treat him nice but underneath there might also be tension as they test his masculinity being a displaced person.

    The story was weak and far fetched. There is a film to be told of an Afghan asylum seeker trying to fit in his host country. Here Osman covers up for Lindsay a man he hardly knows and who beat him up when they first met. He then later gets in a fight with some gangster types. The plot just stretched credibility.
  • refordgarry12 December 2016
    Difficult if you've seen Borat (2006) not to draw obvious comparisons, despite "Burn Country" being a human drama, profound yet also somewhat entertaining.

    The character, Osman, (played by Dominic Rains) has arrived fresh from Afghanistan into small-town California, a romantic terrain of rolling mists, deserted beaches, Sequoia trees and American homesteads inhabited, it seems exclusively by white rednecks and new-age hippies.

    The refugee-Afghan interpreter, journalist and "fixer" intent on using journalism in his new life sports a mustache and stubble, together with more than a touch of that endearing, unpredictable, quirky nature that got Sacha Baron-Cohen's "Borat" in such trouble with his critics. The obvious nature of Osman's recent violent war- torn past, however that led him to seek asylum on the US is reflected in events that unfold during the not-so-innocent Afghan journalist's familiarization with American backwoods life – inhabited by a community whose tribal "answers" to the problems of their often violent way of living sometimes rivals even Osman's birthplace, continents away, supposedly proving that we are, under the skin not so different from one another.

    Osman, at one point purports his reason for coming to America being not the danger, but because he: "got the idea stuck in his head that life started somewhere else……. like you had to get out to have a chance of really living.."

    Since the justification for the journalist's asylum in America is never in doubt (with him unable to return home), the depiction of small- town America here ought make Americans feel rightly proud for welcoming a stranger so unconditionally into their close-knit tribe. Burn Country does, in a sense accentuate the need for community over city, notwithstanding its incredibly "fuzzy" attitude towards the dispensing law and order - the positive message from this movie being the power of Human Nature to eventually triumph over personal differences and other adversities.
  • cdcrb12 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    Osman, from afghanistan, is in ca. looking for a job as a journalist. he was formerly the interpreter for an American newsman there and is looking for a better life anywhere but his home. he is staying with the journalists' mother, the local sheriff. before long someone burns up his hosts' mailbox and Osman can't get a pack of cigs in the town general store. do they hate muslims, strangers in general, or what. who knows. before long Osman gets himself in dangerous situations, and really doesn't seem to learn from his experiences. (for instance, when a cop tells me to stay in the patrol car, i'd stay put). people just do not act this way. and I would certainly think that anyone from afghanistan would be very leery. anyway, ian olds, the director, must be close friends with james franco, who plays an unrecognizable pot head here. I am not sure if this is stranger in a strange land territory, or a director not knowing what tale he is telling. the cinematography is very good, though.
  • I love weird , interesting 'indie' films that most people dislike but this was a real mess. I went in with an open mind, and little to no expectations and ending up getting nothing out of this. I even read several explanations of what the film meant, what it portrayed but felt completely clueless to why anyone would want to watch this. Bizarre and disconnected
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Osman (Dominic Rains) worked in Afghanistan as a reporter/ interpreter. He left there to come to the US, living with cop Gloria (Melissa Leo) in a small town in California. She is the mother of a reporter still in Afghanistan.He meets a group of hippies and some rural folks. When a man is killed, all Osman wants to do is to find James Franco. The movie has stories and flashbacks to Afghanistan to show us how we are all alike...which I didn't really grasp as this was a community living out of the American mainstream. The people were bat sh** crazy.

    The plot seemed to drag in circles. The comparisons were half hearted efforts.

    Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity
  • I loved the idea of a movie highlighting the weirdness of far Northern, Coastal California. I also loved the notion the fact that our lead escaped one crazy version of human nature (Afghanistan), only to find another crazy version in California of all places.

    Not that much happens. But the lead guy was mesmerizingly good in his portrayal of an awkward, deeply sensitive, almost dorky newcomer to a country and town that he doesn't understand at all.

    He's so earnest in wanting to fit in and be hip. But he's in way over his head. Small rural communities have long histories, and in the case of this place, exceedingly weird ones. He hasn't been there long enough to understand the complexity. Yet you really feel for his dilemma. He wants to get a life and a profession, and do something meaningful. He's itching for it.

    Melissa Leo is great as the mother of an old friend of our lead. She's an unemotional deputy sheriff, but also a mother and woman. She comes off very natural.

    The opening is extremely weird, yet quite effective, because a bizarre stage play leads our main character to view it as "very free and very American." by virtue of its' weirdness.

    James Franco is overexposed. I couldn't buy him as the weird town slacker, because I just kept thinking, "Oh that's just James Franco." He was probably miscast anyways.

    Nevertheless, I liked it for its originality, and I don't regret watching. But beware for some violence. I could have done without it.
  • Most stupid, Insignificant.mlvie ever. Made absolutely no sense. Story line was ridiculous. Anyone who rated this movie anywhere near good is just pretending to be deep.