Friday, August 14, 2009

KANDAHAR (Iranian) (2001)

This is my first Mohsin Makhmalbaf film. He is the Iranian Director whose most of the films won international recognition all around the world. He is the classic case proving that “Art can transform anyone.” He got imprisoned for his underground Islamic militia activities when he was 17. After the release, he stayed away from politics and took great interest in cultural field. He has written books, directed films and wrote screenplay for others too.

Shot and narrated almost in a minimalist documentary style, Kandahar is a journey of an Afghani Journalist lady residing in Canada. She is going to Kandahar to save her oppressed sister who has lost both her legs in a land mine explosion and wants to commit suicide after the eclipse. She doesn’t get Visa, so she makes her way by crossing Iranian border. She witnesses harsher lives of Afghanis under Taliban regime during her journey full of every danger. A boy and a Doctor help her in her to accomplish her mission.

The film has so many moments which upset you to know about inhuman and rigid fundamentalist practices prevailing in Taliban ruled Afghanistan. In one of the scene a black American Doctor who is examining the lady behind the curtain through a small hole keeps a gun for self protection said, “Weapon is the only modern thing in Afghanistan.” In one more touching and disturbing scene one legged Afghanis are running in the direction of a Red Cross helicopter dropping artificial legs by parachutes.
In one of the most disturbing scene amid all poverty, hunger and severe health crisis, the kids were being taught only two things in a fanatic school- recite the Koran and shoot the gun. Poor boys resemble more like scapegoats.

After watching most of Majid Majidi films, I think I have to start searching other Makhmalbaf films. If anybody has watched other significant film of this Director please let me know. I have also heard a lot of praise of another Iranian Director Abbas Kiarostami from one of my close friend. Enlighten me if anybody has seen any of his films.

Iranian Cinema Rocks for their simple and yet brilliant humanitarian films.

Ratings- 8.5/10

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