Afghanistan

George Gittoes – Tailor Story (2011)

“Gittoes’s work often asks two questions: what are the experiences of other artists working and surviving in war zones? Or, what is his moral responsibility as an artist-correspondent? When Gittoes allows his subjects to explain the former, or, when he talks about his own experience of the latter, his work is clear and insightful. Read More »

Atiq Rahimi – Syngué sabour, pierre de patience AKA The Patience Stone (2012)

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Somewhere, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, in a country torn apart by a war… A young woman in her thirties watches over her older husband in a decrepit room. He is reduced to the state of a vegetable because of a bullet in the neck. Not only is he abandoned by his companions of the Jihad, but also by his brothers. One day, the woman decides to tell the truth to him about her feelings about their relationship to her silent husband. She talks about her childhood, her suffering, her frustrations, her loneliness, her dreams, her desires… She says things she could never have done before, even though they have been married for the past 10 years. Therefore, this paralyzed man unconsciously becomes syngue sabour, a magic stone which, according to Persian mythology, when placed in front of a person shields her from unhappiness, suffering, pains and miseries. In this wait for her husband to come back to life, the woman struggles to survive and live. She finds refuge in her aunt’s place, who is… Read More »

Siddiq Barmak – Osama (2003)

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The movies are a little more than a century old. Imagine if we could see films from previous centuries — records of slavery, the Great Fire of London, the Black Plague. “Osama” is like a film from some long-ago age. Although it takes place in Afghanistan, it documents practices so cruel that it is hard to believe such ideas have currency in the modern world. What it shows is that, under the iron hand of the Taliban, the excuse of “respect” for women was used to condemn them to a lifetime of inhuman physical and psychic torture. No society that loves and respects women could treat them in this way. Read More »