Thursday 30th March
Cinema - Kandahar

When Britain and the USA invaded Afghanistan in 2001 a lot of people I knew were against the war, seeing it as a knee-jerk reaction to the bombing of 9/11. Which led to a lot of interesting and divergent feelings about the Taliban. It was quite easy when you were anti-invasion, to blur your rational feelings about the forces who were countering that invasion. “The Taliban, they’re the good guys, aren’t they?” said one friend, with just a hint of irony in his voice. The film Kandahar, which was made in 2000 and released in the winter of 2001, was a very timely release. Made by an Iranian director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and starring a Afghani journalist who had been living for years in Canada, Nelofer Pazira, the film reminds you of what a brutal, ruthless, misogynistic regime there was in Afghanistan when the religious fundamentalists ran the country.

The story, shot on the Iranian-Afghan border and largely starring a non-professional cast, is an adaptation of events in which Pazira was a real-life protagonist. She had returned to the country of her birth to try and stop a girlfriend from committing suicide. Later on, after failing in her mission, she met Makhmalbaf, who persuaded her to return to shoot a semi-fictional movie version of her ordeal. While the resulting footage can be amateurishly rough round the edges, it is never anything but extremely powerful.

On the road to Kandahar: one of many starkly surreal scenes from
a timely film
All Saints, Friar’s Walk, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Lewes Cinema
(t) 01903 523833
(w) Website
Official Trailer
(w) link