Journey Without a Map

In the short documentary Journey without a Map, Abdul discovers an unlikely passion in contemporary dance, tapping into the healing power of art as he seeks asylum in Greece from his native Afghanistan.

  • Jill Woodward
    bodies of resilience
  • Abdul Nazari
    Key Cast
    bodies of resilience
  • Eric Kuhn
  • Bill Jackson
    Sound Mix
    Keeping the Kibbutz
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 26, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Modern Greek (1453-)
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Athens Video Dance Project
    April 27, 2017
    European Premiere
  • DesArts//DesCinés Festival
    May 16, 2017
  • Digital Anthropologies #5
    November 15, 2017
Director Biography - Jill Woodward

Director Jill Woodward is a filmmaker/editor based in New York City. She began her broadcasting career at CNN shortly before the first Iraq War, and covered nearly every global crisis until 2006 from the headquarters in Atlanta and New York. As an editor she worked on the feature documentary “Get Me Roger Stone”. She directed “passTRESpass”, which documents the creation of a public dance performance with asylum seekers in Greece, the follow-up, “bodies of resilience”, which showcases several of these same immigrants three years later, and a third film in the series, “Journey Without a Map”. She also directed the experimental dance film “nisi/island”, which was shown in the 2015 PSAROKOKALO festival in Greece.

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Director Statement

The documentary "Journey without a Map" explores the transformative power of dance for refugees struggling with displacement, discrimination, and trauma. The film humanizes the refugee crisis in Greece by focusing on an asylum seeker, Abdul, who expresses his ordeal through contemporary dance improvisation.
I met and began filming Abdul in 2009 during my first project in Athens, "passTRESpass". At the time, a political strongman with his far right political party, had come into power after whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment. The predictable result was violence and a rise in fascism. Eight years later, the United States has elected our own strongman, who similarly stoked anti-foreigner attitudes, something I did not predict. As the refugee crisis becomes more and more a flashpoint in the United States, I believe this film will resonate with American film goers. More importantly, I believe Abdul's journey will provide inspiration to all people who are looking for a better life.