Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Cinema beyond the mountains, among the peaks!

Filmmaking in Daikundi a mountainous province
(By Mohammad Amin Wahidi)

Despite of all problems and difficulties for filmmaking in Afghanistan still there are efforts made in different corners of the country more or less to excel cinematic and filmmaking activities.
Facing different ups and downs the Afghan Cinema is not really paid attention to, by the government and international community as part of the cultural rehabilitation, as it had to, therefore these filmmaking activities are mostly not very well organized and standardized and the recent filmmakers are grown up independently.

(Photo by: Muzzafar Ali)

DaiKundi a province in the central highlands of Afghanistan that has recently served as the location of a film made by a local filmmaker of this province.
The details of the latest film project which is the first ever made film in this mountainous province of central highland (Hazarajat) is reported more in depth by Muzzafar Ali our friend in Dai Kundi.

It is to add that the people of Dai Kundi have expressed their objections in demonstrations against the Indian controversial movie Kabul Express which insulted The Hazaras of Afghanistan faced with vast objections of the Afghans in different countries. As the Afghans showed their broad objections against this movie by numerous demonstrations in Afghanistan and in other countries the Afghan National Assembly condemned this movie and as a result this movie was then banned in Afghanistan by the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan.

Sarnavisht (Predestination); the first ever movie made in Dai Kundi by a local filmmaker
(By Muzzafar Ali)

General info:
The first movie of the short history of Dai Kundi is almost ready to be released. The movie title is Sarnavisht (Predestination). The mastermind behind this movie is Mr. Laal Muhammad Riffat. The movie, Sarnavisht is planned, written and directed by him. He is from Khedir district. He was also District Field Coordinator in JEMB for Parliamentary Elections during 2005. He then worked as journalist in Radio Dai Kundi for 5 months; during 2006.

He was all alone to invest in the movie, which cost him, 300,000 Afghanis. Most of the money was spent to pay wages to the actors. This movie was made during winter season in Korga Ulya village of Khidir district. The reason for shooting the movie is that the people are almost free to when the villages are snowbound and no cultivation and people are mostly idle. According to Mr. Riffat (as he is from Korgah); he was not present during year of war in the region; people trusted him and he didn’t face any difficulty to mobilize people esp. women to play their roles in the movie. The movie is in pure Hazaragi language (not Dari or Persian) to facilitate local people to understand to message in a better way.

The Movie:
The subject in Sarnavisht is the harms of drug and benefits of education. Mr. Riffat has the role of a school headmaster in the movie. Some of his students get addicted to drug (opium). When the situation gets worse; the headmaster organizes a seminar for local people to enhance public awareness against drug and to mobilize local people against drug usage. The seminar proves decisive and the parents of the drug addicts take actions against their sons. While on opposite side; the gang of drug addicts unifies and considers the seminar against drug against all democratic rules. They are under the impression that; in democracy everyone is free to do what they want and even parents are not allowed to interfere in their activities.
The situation gets worse when parents one-by-one get angry on their addicted sons and they displace their sons from their homes. Now, the gang unified on the mountain and starts theft. When complaints of people mount against the gang; headmaster and students decide to take a decisive action. The students capture the gang members and then police arrest them. One of the gang member escape from the custody of police and dies in cold winter as a result of hunger. The corpse of the addicted person is portrayed as a lesson for other people and here the movie ends.

Producer’s comments:
Mr. Riffat says as he was all alone to produce the movie and invested money; he has finished his money and unable to edit and furnish the raw movie. According to Mr. Riffat; he has no money to travel to Kabul to register the movie in Ministry of Information, Culture and Youth Affairs. He plans to release the movie in Kabul and esp. in Dai Kundi for local people to promote public information against use of drug. In this regard he should distribute the CDs among local community and for massive distribution he doesn’t have enough money to fulfill his ambition.

Although the movie has technically many flaws like, poor picture and sound quality and sudden flow of story in the movie; but overall the movie is impressive and has a great story against opium use. The movie encourages people to send their children to schools and to keep them off from drug and other evil activities. The movie show how can the student play a positive role in a real society when they unify and how they can eradicate culprits among the society. The role of police in the movie is positive as they are cooperative with local people and convey messages to police to have a nice behavior. The movie also promotes the motto of Police for people and People for Police. The most important message for people is to stand and play their roles in society rather than to wait for someone to end the culprits and evil trends.
The movie would promote Dai Kundi culture and local accent of Hazaragi Language on broader basis. The movie is the proof of intense participation of women in every field of life.

Know more about Daikundi Province
(This information is quoted from English Wikipedia website)

Daykundi (Pashto/Persian: دایکندی also spelt Daikondi, Dāykondī or Daikundi) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It was established March 28, 2004. The region had previously been an isolated district of Uruzgan province.
It is located about 310 kilometers from Kabul and 160 kilometers from Tarin Kowt.
Daykundi's capital is Nili. Daykundi is mostly populated by Hazaras. 7 out of 8 districts of Daykundi province are Hazara populated areas. Gizab is the only district having a Pashtun majority. During past eras the Hazaras of Daykundi have fought with each other. It is reported that in these conflicts approximately 70,000 people have been killed.
Daykundi province is famous for having the best quality almonds, which are distributed all over Afghanistan.
Sangi Takht

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