Sunday, December 28, 2008

“Safed Sang” a new Afghan feature film in production

In the year 1377 A.H (1998) the Iranian military forces massacred more than six hundred and sixty Afghan illegal entrants in "Safed Sang Camp" (The White Stone Camp) where they were detained for deportation. These Afghan prisoners were detained there just for being Afghan and for entering in Iran illegally. Those days they protested against the responsible personnel of the detaining center for the very bad situation of the detaining center. The Iranian government hearing about this then sent military helicopters and volleyed them all except who could flee or hide somewhere and soon an asphalted road was built on their ensemble cemetery.
On that time some of the prisoners hid to survive and some could escape; out of them, "Dawood Azimi" is one, who is now playing a leading role in Safed Sang a new Afghan film that is in production in the north of Kabul.

"Dawood Wahab" is the producer for Safed Sang, "Zubair Farghand" is the director and "Homayoon Payez" is the main character. The production team has built a simulation of Safed Sang camp in the north of Kabul and all parts of the film is being filmed there. The 300,000 $ USD budget of the film is funded by an American organization. It is interesting that the main location of this film is very close to Bagram Airport, where the American military forces detain the Afghan prisoners who are suspect of affiliated to terrorists, in their military base.

The production team has made a lot of efforts to assimilate the same scenes as occurred in this tragic incident in 1998 about which many people do not know; an incident that is described to be very Hollywoody by the correspondent of Independent as he writes in the Volume of Nov 20th “A big story that could be changed into a great film”. The producer of the film has said to Independent; “We have assimilated the whole parts of this camp (Safed Sang Camp); the kinds of barbwire they used, the cement walls and all other details it had, we even covered the floors with artificial human excrements as the same situation this camp has had.”

In spite of allocation of a lot of budget on decoration and set designing, 35 mm cinematic equipments and enough lighting facilities and cranes, can we still expect an acceptable film by Zubair Farghand?
Zubair Farghand, although is an old figure in the Afghan Cinema but his achievements are not enough and comparable to the years he was present in the cinema, as so far has made some cheap action films but is he ready to direct a feature film is not for sure yet.
However, this film in addition to depicting the story of massacre of the Afghan refugees in Iran will tell another story as well. The story that may not be seen in the film, but we can feel instead, when we watch the film; the never told story of grieves of the Afghans who have lived in Iran.

This film on the other hand would undoubtedly be the first grand step for relating the stories of immigration and refuge. And what happens on the Afghan refugees in the Iranian illegal entrants camps is a part of a big tragedy which has millions of people as victims.
The racist government of Iran, promoting anti immigrant propagandas among the Iranian people, has benighted the lives of the Afghan refugees in this country. This film of course can not be a complete image of the thirty year immigration of the Afghans to Iran but at least could be a beginning of story telling of this issue; an issue that is a part of the contemporary history of the Afghans.

And the other side of the coin; although about four million Afghans live in Iran, and they make a part of the Iranian society in reality, but it rarely happened that an Iranian filmmaker would make a film about their hard lives in this country.
The most famous film about the Afghans in Iran is the praised and well - accredited film “Baran” by Majid Majedi which was an effort to portray a real part of lives of the Afghans in Iran but this film and only some others can not be effective against the rapid anti immigrants and anti Afghans propagandas of the Iranian media and press that is strictly controlled and directed by the government.

Most of the actors and extras in Safed Sang are the Afghan returnees who have been in Iran and can speak Persian with Iranian accent. "Dawood Azimi", who plays the role of an Iranian Police Officer, has said to Independent; “I have a good feeling that I am wearing an Iranian police uniform in this film, because with this I have the chance to show to the world how we have lived and how they oppressed on us, therefore I can play this role.”
In Safed Sang camp, Although the six hour massacre can be imagined as real Hollywood- like scene but in the film there are no victorious heroes as it finishes with a sad ending; Homayoon Payez the protagonist of the film dies at the end and there is no victor hero in Safed Sang, every one else is a victim, but the victor hero is in the Iranian military helicopter in the sky over the Safed Sang camp.
Reported by Ali Karimi in Doshanbeha
Read more about Afghan Cinema below:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A chance for the emerging Afghan filmmakers!


“Freedom, My Way”

The Goethe Institute in Kabul and Hindukush Filmproduktion GbR Berlin-Kabul
are looking for documentary film ideas (15 min.) on the topic of freedom, the longing
for another life and the difficulties of making this a reality in Afghanistan.

The best 6 film ideas will be realized in 2009 and compiled to make a 90-min. cinema documentary film that will be shown at international festivals. You are free to select any genre or style, for example, portraits, self-portraits, experimental, staged or musical documentary films, risqué, sad, political or funny.

Your exposé should be no longer than one page and, if possible, written in English. Please remember to include your phone number and e-mail address and include your previous film work on a DVD.
Deadline: 15 January 2009
Please deliver your ideas to:

Goethe Institute Kabul, Mr. Ibrahim Hotak
Shahmahmood Street, Wazir Akbar Khan
Kabul, Afghanistan
Tel.: 0799-313922,

If you have any questions, please contact:
Goethe Institute Kabul, Mr. Ibrahim Hotak
(see above address, phone no. and e-mail)
Hindukush Filmproduktion GbR
Jutta von Stieglitz-Yousufy & Haroon Yousufy, Tel.: +49-177-8482499
We look forward to your ideas!
Along the mentioned please contacts you can also contact Frozan Siddiqi

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More details about Parwez Kambakhsh

Click Here to read more about Parwez Kambakhsh, the Afghan Journalist accused for blasphemy, imprisoned for 20 years by a court in Kabul Afghanistan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Afghanistan towards La Biennale di Venezia

Lately a group of the Afghan Artists residing in Italy has come together in Venice with some Italian art activists to evaluate the possibilities of presence of Afghanistan in the International Biannual Contemporary Arts Festival of La Biennale di Venezia for the year 2009.

It would be the second time in the history of La Biennale di Venezia since its establishment in between 1895 -1907 that Afghanistan is going to represent traces, while the first time and only for once in 2005 Afghanistan had a presence in this festival with Afghan Artists in Europe and America. But this time, four years after first representation, the working group is making efforts to establish a permanent pavilion for Afghanistan in the La Biennale that would expose Afghanistan’s unaccustomed art and culture not only to the Italians but to a variety of nations who have permanent representation there every two years.

The official committee of La Biennale in the Giardini di Venezia where this biannual festival is held does the formal protocols with the ministries of culture or its equivalent structure of the countries and based on its agreements provides the place for the pavilions while the logistical supports and the primary materials for the construction of the pavilion, transportation of arts traces etc all have to be provided by the countries representing their arts.

The talks in this regard have begun these days and the administrative works are getting done in the primary levels, while there are a lot of challenges and problems ahead of this project.

To be optimistic this would be an important happening that would have a contemporary image of Afghanistan to the world through the art works of the Afghan Artists but still there are doubts if the government of Afghanistan is going to support this project seriously.

The first challenge would be the lack of capacity and intelligence in the Minister of Information and Culture to understand the value and importance of this project as a part of his responsibility.

While the Ministry of Information and Culture is a government structure for promoting and supporting cultural - artistic activities, unfortunately the minister is not an artist but has proved to be a fundamentalist Mullah.

With a strict religious background and obstinate behavior, Karim Khoram, promotes fundamentalism in the country instead of supporting the arts and culture projects; opposing the reopening of a cinema in Herat, banning on Indian soap operas on Afghan television channels, rejecting the Bamyan Buddha Statue reconstruction project, expelling media workers for using their mother tongue in their reports etc are the clear examples of his fundamentalist attempts.

Considering that the Afghan governmental budget is still dependent on the foreign aids, the project seem to face financial resources which needs other solutions such as referring to the private sectors as the partners after the formal and administrative protocols are finalized. That could be a solution.

La Biennale Internazionle di Venezia, held in Giardini di Venezia every two years, is a ground for artistic- cultural appearance of different nations ……

Aakhund (semi literated religious scholar)

A caricature by Bashir Bakhtiari, Afghan caricaturist, graphic designer and filmmaker

Will Bashardost be an Obama for Afghanistan?!!

Enter Afghanistan Long Tongue Writers’ Page to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let’s know and introduce the traitors

Enter Afghanistan Long Tongue Writers’ Page to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

Afghanistan LongTongue on the way

Voice of Criticism
Another blog to reflect the Afghan intellectuals’ writings in English

Now my next blog is ready to reflect the writings, opinions and discussions of the accredited Afghan writers, researchers and intellectuals in English for the people of world interested in and concerned about Afghanistan.

In this page we reflect the writings and criticisms of the Afghan as well as foreigner intellectuals, writers and bloggers on issues such as Politics - Governance - Civil Society - Human Rights & Freedom of Expression in Afghanistan.

The main goal of this blog is to create a space for dialogue and sharing writings, opinions and criticisms for a positive purpose and that is bringing changes and making better the functioning of the government body, the rule of law and to promote the civil society in the country.

As we work for a better Afghanistan, we believe that the positive criticism is always a maker and thus we share with you in this page mainly the writings and opinions of the writers, bloggers and researchers who are known to be Afghanistan Long Tongue Writers* in this way every one can judge the progress of process of young democracy in war effected Afghanistan.

Following the motto, “We are also to bring changes in our country”, and by the help of the writers and intellectuals through this blog we are to see how we can bring changes in the strategy of the International Community in the tiresome and long lasting war in Afghanistan by lobbying the decision makers through providing pure and real information and consultations through real eyes based on the existing realities of the country.

While inviting and welcoming the Afghan writers, researchers and intellectuals for sending their writings for translation and posting in this blog, we would accept and appreciate writings about Afghanistan in English by the foreign writers and researchers who believe in changes in Afghanistan.

Give us hands of support and be the first ones to send your Dari writings to be translated in a standard quality or send your original English writings to us to be posted in this blog.

* Long Tongue (zaban daraz in Dari) is a Dari Persian phrase for the person who has a critical language.

CLICK HERE to enter Afghanistan Long Tongue Writers’ Page

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Will Karim Khoram support this project?!

Enter Afghanistan Long Tongue Writers’ Page to read the full article/commentary by CLICKING HERE

Hopeful for a better tomorrow

A kid with a book under a lantern in the dark
There could be only one thing for this little girl that gives her energy and enthusiasm to work and study hard; that is the hope for a better tomorrow.

Perhaps she has understood that she has to be educated if her dreams has to be realized.
May be her father or forefathers have told her that she has get education to be able to lighten her dark nights which is because of unjust treatment the officials of her time.

Or may be, her eyes are full of hopes because she sees something with here childish sincere innocence that we are not able to see, thus she grows hopes and optimism in her mind and heart that tomorrow definitely would be a better day therefore she doesn’t sleep until late in the dark under a lantern light and study and work hard.
That is what we have to learn from her.

An image from new Afghanistan
The image you see above is taken by a young Afghan photographer Reza Sahel.
This image is in competition for the final round of an international photo contest with 99 other photos among 3000 selected ones from all over the world.

Within the photo
Seeing effort of the little Afghan kid, working hard studying in a dark night, while hoping to begin a better morning in the next day, hopes blossom in the hearts for a better future with a better country.

The photographer
By his photo, while praising the efforts, enthusiasm and hopes of the new generation for a better and brighter tomorrow the photographer, puts in light the discrimination and unequal treatments administered by the senior officials of the Afghan government with the citizens of the country especially in the central highlands of Afghanistan where the Hazaras live and least amount of reconstruction has taken place in the recent years since 2002.

Click here if you want to vote for a praising photo from recent Afghanistan in an international contest.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Looking for a better world!

Photo by Reza Karimi

The difference between a human and a …



“Oh God, you know how hard it is to be and remain human being,
How difficult is the world for human full of senses, emotions and feelings”

Last night was one of those and I didn’t or couldn’t go sleep again until too late in the morning just about before the sunrise. I don’t know whether I name it insomnia or something else.
However, I began thinking about here there as if I was looking for something, a better world for example after I read a Dari Poem that was once sent as a comment to one of my Dari writings in Kabul Press website a few months ago.
I don’t exactly remember the name of the poet but the title of the poem was “one night in the place of God” or “If I were God for one night” and it was talking about the existing unjust things in this world and the poet proposed the betterment and changes and ideal solutions for the better condition of living beings through his poem.
I wish I could translate it in English and put it here for you to read and enjoy it.

There are many things in the world to think about and to be concerned about that is how when you can’t sleep at night, you begin traveling around the globe with your imaginations, you suffer a lot when there are many irritating items in your society and in the places where your mind reaches and then you have to enter into an ideal world of yourself, you create the whole system of the world the way you think is right and then, dark in the morning you go sleep with your imaginations. Without having changed anything, later after the sunrise you wake up and see everything is still the same but instead you have headache and nothing has changed at all.

Actually belonging to and growing in a society full of tyranny, violence, social misbehaviors, unjust treatments, corruption, continuous poverty and ignorance automatically you change into a person always thinking about your role in this middle and what you could do for others is your everlasting mental conflict.

These harsh things are the existing realities in the society. The cruelty and tyranny the humans do on the other human beings; the people dying of hanger, the people being forced to leave their homes, the women being raped, the children being misused, the people being kidnapped, the officials being corrupted, the ignorance being spread, the refugees far off their land being misused and many more things on your own land and in other corners of the world where you can imagine of.

Sometimes, thinking about the many responsibilities you have as a human being in the society you belong to and in a bigger range in the world where you live and then you see you can not do anything to help to find a solution at least for a little part of these problems, you wish you were out of such world.

However, although you know that in order to coup with the harshness of the world, it is not the right choice to escape and leave the ground but stand and fight against them otherwise there wouldn’t be any difference between an intelligent human and an animal like a cow, but still you say to yourself, how long more you wouldn’t be able to do something for certain reasons?!

In spite of the strength the humans have but they are not as hard as rocks;
Of course time to time they are happy, they are sad, they are emotional, they are cold- blooded, they are enthusiastic, and they are exhausted but sometimes they are tenderer than flowers and are not able to tolerate much harshness they face in their lives.

What all come here are not the signs of pessimism or the empty part of the bottle but they are the realities in the practical life although if sometimes people pretend to be happy or optimistic about it.

Or a solution; change your vision and the way of living
Wow, in this new way of living, you are happier and more comfortable. When every where is green, that is all for you. Then there is nothing to think about or to be worried about. Why you have to think about something? Why you have to suffer about the wrong things that exist in the world? You eat. You sleep, that are the two most important things in the world for you and you enjoy your life. What else do you want?
So this way, never things come to your mind that hurt you, you do not have any imaginations or foreseeing about what happens in the world or what you have to do for it, because you don’t care for it anymore. Because in this way of living the whole your world is not bigger than a grazing field and your furthest imagination does not go beyond imagining that every where is green for you, which gives you a sense of satisfactory. That is all.
There are not any responsibilities from your surroundings or your society on your shoulders anymore because; first you do not have a mind to think about it and feel responsibility, then you are not in your hand and then you do not live in a society, you live in cattle. There, the most important duty you have is what you are created for; eat grass and produce milk, or to be killed for the meat. That is how the life is for a cow.
And sometimes human beings are forced to live the same way or even worse but then only God can save them from that situation!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Italy still in the racial discrimination

a commentary by Basir Ahang
Independent Afghan Journalist in Italy
Translated by Amin Wahidi
Mussolini Jr. can not tolerate the presence of a black leader in the While House
Silvio Berlusconi the Italian prime minister when attending in a press conference during his official visit to Moscow has attacked the personality of Barack Obama the elected president of the United States of America for being of black skin.
Regarding Obama, he said,” the new elected president of America is a young, handsome and bronze (tanned skin) president”.
Berlusconi who was supporting the republican candidate John McCain during his electoral campaign doesn’t think that Obama deserve the White House because of his complexion and racial background.

What Berlusconi has lately stated, shows his fanaticism prejudice with the people of black skin.
Although considering the history of Italy as the cradle of fascism, it is something sample and predictable to hear a discriminative statement from a senior Italian official but in the present time, it annihilate the claims of the Italian government for fighting against fascism and racism and this country will again be in the list of fascist countries in the world.
Even in the Italian constitution any kind of movements that distinguish ethnicities and complexions are considered discriminative attempts and are lead to legal prosecutions.
Soon after this news, most of the human rights organizations and the leftist parties in Italy objected to the discriminative statement of the prime minister and condemned it as a fascist statement.

Walter Veltroni, the leader of PD the main opposition party in Italy in a press conference has evaluated it as a non-diplomatic and discriminative statement which could offend the friendship of Italy and the United States of America.
Condemning this statement, Veltroni has asked Berlusconi apologize Obama for what he has stated in his Friday conference in Moscow. He added that Berlusconi’s statement is definitely not the Italian people’s comment on the new elected president of the United States but is his own irresponsible comment.
On the other hand, the Italian journalists in the American have tried to ask Obama’s opinion on this statement of the Italian Prime Minister but they were told that Obama is not interested to talk on it.
It is to say that after the end of the Word War Two and defeat of Mussolini the Italian fascist leader, this period was recognized as an ignominious time in the political history of Italy and thereafter many efforts have been made to eliminate the fascism in this country.
But nowadays after almost 65 years from then, not only fascism and discrimination is not eliminated in Italy but is still alive in this country and even senior government officials are following and applying it.
So we can say it is no more than empty acclaim when some of the western countries pretend to be defending the human rights, equality and democracy when we see such actions.
Although the victory of Obama in this election was the breakage of a taboo in this country and gave hopes to millions of human beings who didn’t have the equal rights in this country for years and years and were treated with as slaves and the second class citizens but on the other hand we still see that the presence of blacks are not yet accustomed and tolerable for some whites.
Although the harsh and abasing statement of the Italian prime minister has had vast objections after, but these objects are not trustable either; they are just political slogans too.
It is the time for all the liberal people in the world to stand against discrimination and prejudice and eliminate it from the world.
Here I am not to defend Obama but because I, my forefathers and other ethnic minority citizens of my country were all suffered fascism and discrimination for years and years and we can feel the catastrophe that fascism brings. And this prepares any liberal person to stand and fight against it as a Saadi the great Persian poet has said;
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

Friday, November 7, 2008

When impossible(s) become possible!

Obama broke the taboos!
When the name of Barack Obama as an African – American senator was announced to be racing with Hillary Clinton for the presidency candidature from the democrats, it was not predicted that America would be ready to accept a black American in the highest leadership position in the country but what the result of this election showed was the vice versa; first it showed that the American democracy is reaching its highest level and then the people are ready for change and would vote for the person who they think has the merit regardless of race, color and complexion.
The result of the presidential election 2008 in November 4 in the USA shows that most of the Americans are hoping for a real change in the administration of their country as they have voted and elected the democrat candidate senator Barack Obama whose slogan was “WE CAN BELIEVE IN CHANGE”, as their new president.

The American people are hopeful to see changes in their lives, primarily to be able to coup with the lately economical crisis as well as to see their country gaining back the international strength and reputation that is believed to be decreasing in the late years especially after its involvement in occupation of Iraq.

A few months ago, there were some concerning issues such as; Iran nuclear program, war in Iraq and war in Afghanistan that were of main interests for the American people to know which of the presidential candidates have better and clearer programs to deal with. And then the latest economical crises in the USA became more important than other issues while at the same time the people knew that the two long lasting and costly wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) have partly affected the overall economy of the country; so the new leader would be the person with new and better plans; where need, would be serious and where need would have the flexibility.

Whether people of the world accept or not, it is the reality that as the first economical and military power in the world the United States of America plays a major role in the International arenas as parts of its international responsibility, thus any political change occurs in this country, it effects the other parts of the world considering its role and vast relationships with the other countries in today’s world and definitely have reactions behind, whether positive and negative.
This news of victory of Obama has had positive efficacy on the Stock Markets of America, Europe and Asia since then and the investors are more hopeful for a better future with this new elected president of the USA.

Most of the world’s leaders have shown positive reactions to the result of this election and they have hoped to have closer relationships with the United States of America with its new administration that will be presided by democrat Obama.

Undoubtedly Obama’s victory in this election has had a message for whole the world and that is; “complexion is no more important where merit matters” and it may be a great victory in history for the black Americans although many black Africans also have celebrated the victory of African – American presidential candidate in this historical election while in Kenya where Obama’s father is originally from, the people and the government celebrated his victory as a national feast.
As a matter of fact Obama’s victory is not a sample happening in the history of the United States when the champion of anti apartheid campaigns Nelson Mandela sends a congratulation message for Obama’s victory and encourages him for making every effort for the betterment of the world.

In the Middle East and Central Asia
Countries like Iraq and Afghanistan in which the USA is involved with direct military presence, the Persian Gulf Arab countries as America’s allies in the region and Iran as America’s main rival in the region would be expecting direct effects of this election on their relations and further economical - political intercourse with the USA.

Obama and Afghanistan
Some of my friends and many Afghan writers wrote about this historical election of the USA under different titles such as, “Realization of Martin Luther King’s dream”, “The White House and the Black Leader”, “A real change for the USA and for the world, “The acme of American democracy”, “Obama breaks the taboos in this history”
“Does the dream of Martin Luther King realize?” and each writer has written about one aspect of this election, but for me, the importance is how it effects the relation USA with Afghanistan and how would it do the better for Afghanistan.

His trip to Kabul Afghanistan as a part of his electoral campaign in July this year showed that the war in Afghanistan is a serious issue not only in Obama’s television debates but in his practical program plans as well. In this trip to Afghanistan Obama said that there is need of more seriousness by the world especially the USA in the mission in Afghanistan.
At the same time he remarked on the existence of corruption in the body of the Afghan government.

During the last few months coincidently with the US presidential election campaign process there have been many scandals against the Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his family members which were all denied by the president Karzai and his Brother Ahmad Wali Karzai.

The president Hamid Karzai is becoming an absolute ethnic dictator by confining the key positions in the administration among some corrupted people of his ethnic group that turns the country towards ethnic monopoly which has been one of the reasons for several years of civil war in the past, not being able to handle to corruption, re-empowering the fundamentalist elements directly and indirectly for his own personal purposes and confining the freedom of expression in the country by putting pressures on the media and press activists.

The presidents’ brothers do not have better work report either.
Ahmad Wali Karzai is the king of drug trafficking in the southern province of Kandahar which has been reported many times by prestigious international journals.

Thereafter any accusation and scandal by the international journals against Karzai and his family members were denied by him and was considered as the negative propaganda of the westerns against Karzai family.

President Karzai reasons that he was under attacks of the western media and press of especially the American journals after he has harshly criticized the repeated mistakenly air strikes of the Coalition Forces in different spots of the country that caused several civilian casualties and raised an anti American feeling among the people of south and east.

Since Obama has raised his concerns about the weakness of the Afghan administration under the leadership of Karzai, the presidential team in the Afghan Government under Karzai has not been optimistic for the victory of Obama while they have been looking forward for the victory of the republican McCain as they were graced by the republican administration of Bush on that time.

Hearing about the victory of Obama, while president Karzai has sent his congratulation message to Obama, he has asked for a change in the strategy of the USA in the counter terror campaign in Afghanistan.

However, by winning the election indeed the responsibilities began and we should note that there are still many challenges ahead of a new elected president and all things can not be solved overnight, because a president does not have a miracle.

The Afghans know that changing some strategies and replacing with alternatives would be useful and they hope Obama’s views and position regarding Afghanistan would not be just electoral slogans but would be implemented in practice hereafter.

What the Afghans expect from Obama and hope his new administration will do for Afghanistan as a friend country is to work on the infrastructures of the country rather that useless short term projects that were brought in within the passed six years.

The Afghans need education and eradication of illiteracy for long term betterment, so there is need of more investment on the education sector of the Afghans rather than more military US forces in the country which has been more costly but less useless to reduce the violence as seen in the last two years.

The Afghans are also tired of the administration that can not run the country properly and is drowning into corruption mirage day after day, so we need a change in our country as well.
Seeing the latest presidential election in the USA we come to believe that hereafter nothing exists as impossible(s), so we should also be expecting a change in our country as well because we also have two elections ahead for the next year.

Thanks to media, press and communication technology
Thanks to existence of mass media and communication technology that made the world very smaller than its real size with the various numbers of countries in it since the media and technology has made it a real global village. In this global village the relations among the countries are correlated and too complicated in economical and political aspects. As a result some important things occur in one corner it is directly reflected and heard in all over the world through the media and press using the communication technology.
If the media and press didn’t function well billions of people would not have been able to know about this great change as fast as they did.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Barmak appears once again

Opium War an Afghn feature film wins the Citics Award of the 3rd Edition of Rome International Film Festival 2008 in Italy.

Opium War is Seddiq Barmak's second feature film after his long absence from 2002 when he made his first successful feature Osama that won many prestigious international awards.
The director was not appearing seriously on the ground of cinema after Osama in 2002, while during this gap he has been assisting some video projects of the young filmmakers and working as a consultant for private television channels in Kabul.
This time, his appearance with Opium War would once again represent the appearance of the Afghan Cinema on international screens.

While the viewers were expecting presence of this film in the festival earlier, it is the first serious appearance of this film in international festivals.

We congratulate The Director, Seddiq Barmak and the multi national crew of his film for Opium War, winning the Critics Award of Rome International Film Festvial 2008 .

It is heard that Opium War would be the Official Afghanistan submission to the 2009 Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category too.

In a far mountainous place after Taliban regime in Afghanistan, two American soldiers - one white officer and the other an African-American soldier - are lost after their helicopter had crashed. The soldier waits for a chance to run away from the officer while the wounded officer coerces the soldier with a pistol to carry him around. The two are in discords but they need each other to survive in the hostile land. When they cross the poppy field, the two soothe the pain from the hurt, fatigue and dread from the war by licking the substance of the poppy capsules. They soon notice armored personal carriers (APC) with a white flag in the middle of the poppy field, a symbol of Taliban. With nothing much in their hands, they begin attacking the vehicles. But what they find inside in the APCs is an Afghan family living inside…

Siddiq Barmak was born in Afghanistan in 1962. He studied filmmaking in Moscow. He had written a few screenplays and had made a few short films before he shot in Afghanistan his first feature film Osama. He was the director of the Afghan Film organization from 1992 to 1996 and after the establishment of the new government he was once again chosen to manage it. All his works were banned during the time of the Taliban.

Film Info:
OPIUM WAR 2008 - 90' Color, 35 mm
Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea, France, 2008
Director Siddiq Barmak
Cast Peter Bussian (Don Johnson), Joe Suba (Joe Harris), Fawad Samani (Scorpion), Marina Golbahari (Mad Girl).
Screenplay Siddiq Barmak
Cinematography Georgi Dzulaiev
Editing Michele Hickson
Production Design Bakhteyar Qaharov
Music DalerNazarov
Producer Siddiq Barmak, Shohreh Golparian
Production Barmak Film
Co-producer Haruo Kawashima, Suh Youngjoo, Carole Scotta
Co-productionHappinet Pictures, Cineclick Asia, Haut et Court
DistributionInternational DistributionCineclick Asia – DaeLim apt 736-602, Sanbon-dong, Gunpo-si – 435-040 Kyunggyi Province (South Korea) – T. +82 10 4722 5120
See also