Nothing about the bullet-scarred building—one of hundreds in central Kabul—indicates the astonishing story that unfolded within the walls of Afghan Film. It was here that an impassioned clique of filmmakers, often working across enemy lines, gave birth to a progressive national cinema in one of the most underdeveloped societies on Earth. And it was here, in an episode worthy of a spy thriller, that a clandestine network of cinephiles conspired to protect this precious legacy from the iconoclastic fanatics who destroyed the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.
Unearthing surprising new details of the story, Afghan-Canadian director Ariel Nasr works his own cinematic magic to bring this epic history to shimmering life, juxtaposing dramatic insider testimony from “Engineer” Latif Ahmadi, Siddiq Barmak and other key players with freshly restored images from Afghan Film’s extraordinary archive. Marvelling in all the mysterious and fragile power of movies, he crafts a visually absorbing and utterly original story of modern Afghanistan.
Closed Captioning available in English.