Banned under the Taliban, who saw movies as another symptom of Western decadence, the archives at Afghan Film survived only through the courage of employees who defied orders to burn their collection and instead stashed away reels in locked rooms, hidden in ceilings and closets.
New Zealand filmmaker Pietra Brettykelly follows a group of dedicated cinephiles determined to restore Afghan Film and reclaim their country’s motion picture heritage. Returning from exile in Germany, Ibrahim Arify spearheads the effort, though resources are few and there is always the sense that danger could be just around the corner. Extracts from the archives bring the recent, troubled but often surprising history of Afghanistan to life, revealing not only the military incursions of the Soviets, but also days of relaxed cultural mores, a visit from President Kennedy, even women in miniskirts!
“A documentary not just for archivists but for those who see film as a vital part of local culture.” Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter.
Winner: Best Documentary, Warsaw
|Running Time:||95 minutes|
guests in attendance
Pietra Brettkelly – Director