Kandahar (2001)

5.5/10 by 12 users

After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her.

Original Title:Safar e Ghandehar
Release Date:May 11, 2001
Production Company:Bac Films
Production Countries:Afghanistan, Iran
Director:Mojtaba Mirtahasebi, Kaveh Moinfar, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Casts:, , , ,
Plot Keywords:islam, middle east, refugee, afghanistan, famine, mujahid, sister, taliban, based on true story, travel, teacher, disappearance, death, red cross, iranian new wave
  • Like many films from Muslim countries, "Kandahar" is vitally concerned with female emancipation…
    December 7, 2008
    The film's great success with audiences was in part due to the timing of its release, at a moment when Afghanistan had been catapulted into the headlines by the activities of the Taliban and the attacks of September 11, 2001…
    But the motion picture, directed by one of Iran's most prominent film artists, is much more than a story pulled out from the headlines… It stars Nelofer Pazira, a female journalist, based in Canada, playing Nafas, who is trying to get into Afghanistan to reach her sister who lives in Kandahar… Nafas's sister is threatening suicide because of the intolerable oppression of women by the Taliban…
    In the course of her long and dangerous journey, Nafas encounters a mixed array of Afghan people, many of them refugees… An old man agrees to take her into the country disguised as his fourth wife… Later she acquires a young boy, Khak (Sadou Teymouri), as her guide after he has been expelled from a religious school… On the way she meets Tabib Sahid, an African-American who had come to fight the Soviets but who is now practicing medicine…
    "Kandahar" mixes documentary authenticity with extraordinary moments of visual strangeness ad beauty… The Burka is an ever-present symbol of women's subjugation, yet underneath women wear varnished nails and lipstick, and their brightly-colored robes affirm their individuality… The film placed the suffering of the Afghan people, particularly the women, on an international stage…